FLT3 mutations confer enhanced proliferation and survival properties to multipotent progenitors in a murine model of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
Despite their known transforming properties, the effects of leukemogenic FLT3-ITD mutations on hematopoietic stem and multipotent progenitor cells and on hematopoietic differentiation are not well understood. We report a mouse model harboring an ITD in the murine Flt3 locus that develops myeloproliferative disease resembling CMML and further identified FLT3-ITD mutations in a subset of human CMML. These findings correlated with an increase in number, cell cycling, and survival of multipotent stem and progenitor cells in an ITD dose-dependent manner in animals that exhibited alterations within their myeloid progenitor compartments and a block in normal B cell development. This model provides insights into the consequences of constitutive signaling by an oncogenic tyrosine kinase on hematopoietic progenitor quiescence, function, and cell fate.