To determine whether aberrantly activated tyrosine kinases other than FLT3 and c-KIT contribute to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) pathogenesis, we used high-throughput (HT) DNA sequence analysis to screen exons encoding the activation loop and juxtamembrane domains of 85 tyrosine kinase genes in 188 AML patients without FLT3 or c-KIT mutations. The screen identified 30 nonsynonymous sequence variations in 22 different kinases not previously reported in singlenucleotide polymorphism (SNP) databases. These included a novel FLT3 activating allele and a previously described activating mutation in MET (METT1010I). The majority of novel sequence variants were stably expressed in factor-dependent Ba/F3 cells. Apart from one FLT3 allele, none of the novel variants showed constitutive phosphorylation by immunoblot analysis and none transformed Ba/F3 cells to factorindependent growth. These findings indicate the majority of these alleles are not potent tyrosine kinase activators in this cellular context and that a significant proportion of nonsynonymous sequence variants identified in HT DNA sequencing screens may not have functional significance. Although some sequence variants may represent SNPs, these data are consistent with recent reports that a significant fraction of such sequence variants are "passenger" rather than "driver" alleles and underscore the importance of functional assessment of candidate disease alleles.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology