Casitas B-lineage lymphoma (CBL) encodes an E3 ubiquitin ligase and signaling adaptor that regulates receptor and nonreceptor tyrosine kinases. Recurrent CBL mutations occur in myeloid neoplasms, including 10% to 20% of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) cases, and selectively disrupt the protein's E3 ubiquitin ligase activity. CBL mutations have been associated with poor prognosis, but the oncogenic mechanisms and therapeutic implications of CBL mutations remain incompletely understood. We combined functional assays and global mass spectrometry to define the phosphoproteome, CBL interactome, and mechanism of signaling activation in a panel of cell lines expressing an allelic series of CBL mutations. Our analyses revealed that increased LYN activation and interaction with mutant CBL are key drivers of enhanced CBL phosphorylation, phosphoinositide-3-kinase regulatory subunit 1 (PIK3R1) recruitment, and downstream phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT signaling in CBL-mutant cells. Signaling adaptor domains of CBL, including the tyrosine kinase-binding domain, proline-rich region, and C-terminal phosphotyrosine sites, were all required for the oncogenic function of CBL mutants. Genetic ablation or dasatinib-mediated inhibition of LYN reduced CBL phosphorylation, CBL-PIK3R1 interaction, and PI3K/AKT signaling. Furthermore, we demonstrated in vitro and in vivo antiproliferative efficacy of dasatinib in CBL-mutant cell lines and primary CMML. Overall, these mechanistic insights into the molecular function of CBL mutations provide rationale to explore the therapeutic potential of LYN inhibition in CBL-mutant myeloid malignancies.
© 2021 by The American Society of Hematology.