Casitas B lymphoma mutations in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia

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Casitas B-lineage lymphoma (CBL) proteins are RING finger ubiquitin E3 ligases that attenuate the signaling of receptor tyrosine kinases and are mutated in a number of myeloid disorders. In this study, mutational screening of the linker-RING domains ofCBLandCBLBwas performed by denaturing high performance liquid chromatography in a cohort of diagnostic (n= 180) or relapse (n= 46) samples from children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Somatic mutations were identified in three children, giving an overall incidence of 1.7% and involved small deletions affecting the intron/exon boundaries of exon 8, leading to skipping of exon 8 and abolishing E3 ligase function. Mutated primary samples were associated with constitutive activation of the RAS pathway and sensitivity to MEK inhibitors was shown. Thus, mutation ofCBLis an alternative route to activate the RAS pathway and may identify children who are candidates for MEK inhibitor clinical trials.

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