This report describes 2 patients with a clinical and hematologic diagnosis of chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in chronic phase who had an acquired t(8;22)(p11;q11). Analysis by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) indicated that both patients were negative for the BCR-ABL fusion, but suggested that the BCR gene was disrupted. Further FISH indicated a breakpoint within fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1), the receptor tyrosine kinase that is known to be disrupted in a distinctive myeloproliferative disorder, most commonly by fusion to ZNF198. RT-PCR confirmed the presence in both cases of an in-frame messenger RNA fusion between BCR exon 4 and FGFR1 exon 9. Expression of BCR-FGFR1 in the factor-dependent cell line Ba/F3 resulted in interleukin 3-independent clones that grew at a comparable rate to cells transformed with ZNF198-FGFR1. The growth of transformed cells was inhibited by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002, the farnesyltransferase inhibitors L744832 and manumycin A, the p38 inhibitors SB202190 and SB203580 but not by the MEK inhibitor PD98059. The growth of BaF3/BCR-FGFR1 and BaF3/ZNF198-FGFR1 was not significantly inhibited by treatment with STI571, but was inhibited by SU5402, a compound with inhibitory activity against FGFR1. Inhibition with this compound was associated with decreased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and BCR-FGFR1 or ZNF198-FGFR1, and was dose dependent with an inhibitory concentration of 50% of approximately 5 µM. As expected, growth of BaF3/BCR-ABL was inhibited by STI571 but not by SU5402. The study demonstrates that the BCR-FGFR1 fusion may occur in patients with apparently typical CML. Patients with constitutively active FGFR1 fusion genes may be amenable to treatment with specific FGFR1 inhibitors
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