Characterization of BCR-ABL deletion mutants from patients with chronic myeloid leukemia

D. W. Sherbenou, O. Hantschel, L. Turaga, I. Kaupe, S. Willis, T. Bumm, R. D. Press, G. Superti-Furga, B. J. Druker, M. W. Deininger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


The BCR-ABL oncogenic tyrosine kinase causes chronic myeloid leukemia and is the target for imatinib therapy. During imatinib treatment, cells are selected in some patients with BCR-ABL kinase domain mutations that render decreased drug sensitivity. In addition, some patients express deletion mutants of BCR-ABL, apparently due to missplicing. Most commonly these deletion mutants lack a significant portion of the kinase domain that includes the P-loop. We describe a screen for such mutations in patients with CML and demonstrate that they are not oncogenic and are catalytically inactive. We hypothesized that coexpressing BCR-ABL deletion mutants has a dominant-negative effect on the native form through heterocomplex formation. However, upon coexpression of native and deletion mutant BCR-ABL in Ba/F3 cells, growth factor independence is maintained and signaling is activated normally. Despite this, these cells have increased imatinib sensitivity compared to cells expressing only native BCR-ABL. Thus, it will be important to investigate the prognostic impact of coexpression of deletion mutants in CML patients during imatinib treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1184-1190
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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