Generation and characterization of a highly effective protein substrate for analysis of FLT3 activity
- Equal contributors
1 Department of Pathology, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA
2 Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK, 73104, USA
3 Edmond H. Fischer Signal Transduction Laboratory, College of Life Sciences, Jilin University, Changchun, China
Journal of Hematology & Oncology 2012, 5:39 doi:10.1186/1756-8722-5-39Published: 16 July 2012
Gain-of-function mutations of tyrosine kinase FLT3 are frequently found in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). This has made FLT3 an important marker for disease diagnosis and a highly attractive target for therapeutic drug development. This study is intended to generate a sensitive substrate for assays of the FLT3 enzymatic activity.
We expressed in Escherichia coli cells a glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein designated GST-FLT3S, which contains a peptide sequence derived from an autophosphorylation site of FLT3. The protein was used to analyze tyrosine kinase activity of baculovirus-expressed FLT3 and crude cell extracts of bone marrow cells from AML patients. It was also employed to perform FLT3 kinase assays for FLT3 inhibitor screening.
GST-FLT3S in solution or on beads was strongly phosphorylated by recombinant proteins carrying the catalytic domain of wild type FLT3 and FLT3D835 mutants, with the latter exhibiting much higher activity and efficiency. GST-FLT3S was also able to detect elevated tyrosine kinase activity in bone marrow cell extracts from AML patients. A small-scale inhibitor screening led to identification of several potent inhibitors of wild type and mutant forms of FLT3.
GST-FLT3S is a sensitive protein substrate for FLT3 assays. It may find applications in diagnosis of diseases related to abnormal FLT3 activity and in inhibitor screening for drug development.