Bcr-Abl kinase domain mutations, drug resistance, and the road to a cure for chronic myeloid leukemia

Blood. 2007 Oct 1;110(7):2242-9. doi: 10.1182/blood-2007-03-066936. Epub 2007 May 11.


Mutations in the kinase domain (KD) of BCR-ABL are the most prevalent mechanism of acquired imatinib resistance in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Here we examine predisposing factors underlying acquisition of KD mutations, evidence for acquisition of mutations before and during therapy, and whether the detection of a KD mutation universally implies resistance. We also provide a perspective on how the second-line Abl inhibitors dasatinib and nilotinib are faring in the treatment of imatinib-resistant CML, especially in relation to specific KD mutations. We discuss the growing importance of the multi-inhibitor-resistant 315T>I mutant and the therapeutic potential that a 315T>I inhibitor would have. Last, we assess the potential of Abl kinase inhibitor combinations to induce stable responses even in advanced CML and interpret the emerging data in the context of CML pathogenesis.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Benzamides
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / drug effects
  • Drug Resistance, Neoplasm / genetics*
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl / genetics*
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / drug therapy
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / enzymology*
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / pathology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Piperazines / chemistry
  • Piperazines / therapeutic use
  • Point Mutation / genetics
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Pyrimidines / chemistry
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors


  • Benzamides
  • Piperazines
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Pyrimidines
  • Imatinib Mesylate
  • Fusion Proteins, bcr-abl
  • nilotinib