RET fusion genes are associated with chronic myelomonocytic leukemia and enhance monocytic differentiation

Leukemia. 2012 Nov;26(11):2384-9. doi: 10.1038/leu.2012.109. Epub 2012 Apr 19.


Myeloproliferative neoplasms are frequently associated with aberrant constitutive tyrosine kinase (TK) activity resulting from chimaeric fusion genes or point mutations such as BCR-ABL1 or JAK2 V617F. We report here the cloning and functional characterization of two novel fusion genes BCR-RET and FGFR1OP-RET in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) cases generated by two balanced translocations t(10;22)(q11;q11) and t(6;10)(q27;q11), respectively. The two RET fusion genes leading to the aberrant activation of RET, are able to transform hematopoietic cells and skew the hematopoietic differentiation program towards the monocytic/macrophage lineage. The RET fusion genes seem to constitutively mimic the same signaling pathway as RAS mutations frequently involved in CMML. One patient was treated with Sorafenib, a specific inhibitor of the RET TK function, and demonstrated cytological and clinical remissions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects*
  • DNA Primers
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Leukemia, Myelomonocytic, Chronic / genetics
  • Leukemia, Myelomonocytic, Chronic / pathology*
  • Monocytes / cytology*
  • Point Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret / genetics*
  • Translocation, Genetic


  • DNA Primers
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-ret
  • RET protein, human