FLT3-mutant acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an aggressive form of leukemia with poor prognosis. Treatment with FLT3 inhibitors frequently produces a clinical response, but the disease nevertheless often recurs. Recent studies have revealed system-wide gene expression changes in FLT3-mutant AML cell lines in response to drug treatment. Here we sought a systems-level understanding of how these cells mediate these drug-induced changes. Using RNAseq data from AML cells with an internal tandem duplication FLT3 mutation (FLT3-ITD) under six drug treatment conditions including quizartinib and dexamethasone, we identified seven distinct gene programs representing diverse biological processes involved in AML drug-induced changes. Based on the literature knowledge about genes from these modules, along with public gene regulatory network databases, we constructed a network of FLT3-ITD AML. Applying the BooleaBayes algorithm to this network and the RNAseq data, we created a probabilistic, data-driven dynamical model of acquired resistance to these drugs. Analysis of this model reveals several interventions that may disrupt targeted parts of the system-wide drug response. We anticipate co-targeting these points may result in synergistic treatments that can overcome resistance and prevent eventual recurrence.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)