Acquisition of homozygous activating growth factor receptor mutations might accelerate cancer progression through a simple gene-dosage effect. Internal tandem duplications (ITDs) of FLT3 occur in approximately 25% cases of acute myeloid leukemia and induce ligand-independent constitutive signaling. Homozygous FLT3-ITDs confer an adverse prognosis and are frequently detected at relapse. Using a mouse knockin model of Flt3 - internal tandem duplication (Flt3-ITD) - induced myeloproliferation, we herein demonstrate that the enhanced myeloid phenotype and expansion of granulocyte-monocyte and primitive Lin -Sca1+c-Kit+ progenitors in Flt3-ITD homozygous mice can in part be mediated through the loss of the second wild-type allele. Further, whereas autocrine FLT3 ligand production has been implicated in FLT3-ITD myeloid malignancies and resistance to FLT3 inhibitors, we demonstrate here that the mouse Flt3ITD/ITD myeloid phenotype is FLT3 ligand-independent.
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