Ponatinib is the only currently approved tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) that suppresses all BCR-ABL1 single mutants in Philadelphia chromosome-positive (Ph(+)) leukemia, including the recalcitrant BCR-ABL1(T315I) mutant. However, emergence of compound mutations in a BCR-ABL1 allele may confer ponatinib resistance. We found that clinically reported BCR-ABL1 compound mutants center on 12 key positions and confer varying resistance to imatinib, nilotinib, dasatinib, ponatinib, rebastinib, and bosutinib. T315I-inclusive compound mutants confer high-level resistance to TKIs, including ponatinib. In vitro resistance profiling was predictive of treatment outcomes in Ph(+) leukemia patients. Structural explanations for compound mutation-based resistance were obtained through molecular dynamics simulations. Our findings demonstrate that BCR-ABL1 compound mutants confer different levels of TKI resistance, necessitating rational treatment selection to optimize clinical outcome.
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