KIT kinase domain in complex with sunitinib
[KIT_HUMAN] Defects in KIT are a cause of piebald trait (PBT) [MIM:172800]; also known as piebaldism. PBT is an autosomal dominant genetic developmental abnormality of pigmentation characterized by congenital patches of white skin and hair that lack melanocytes.         Defects in KIT are a cause of gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) [MIM:606764].     Defects in KIT have been associated with testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) [MIM:273300]. A common solid malignancy in males. Germ cell tumors of the testis constitute 95% of all testicular neoplasms. Defects in KIT are a cause of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) [MIM:601626]. AML is a malignant disease in which hematopoietic precursors are arrested in an early stage of development. Note=Somatic mutations that lead to constitutive activation of KIT are detected in AML patients. These mutations fall into two classes, the most common being in-frame internal tandem duplications of variable length in the juxtamembrane region that disrupt the normal regulation of the kinase activity. Likewise, point mutations in the kinase domain can result in a constitutively activated kinase.
[KIT_HUMAN] Tyrosine-protein kinase that acts as cell-surface receptor for the cytokine KITLG/SCF and plays an essential role in the regulation of cell survival and proliferation, hematopoiesis, stem cell maintenance, gametogenesis, mast cell development, migration and function, and in melanogenesis. In response to KITLG/SCF binding, KIT can activate several signaling pathways. Phosphorylates PIK3R1, PLCG1, SH2B2/APS and CBL. Activates the AKT1 signaling pathway by phosphorylation of PIK3R1, the regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Activated KIT also transmits signals via GRB2 and activation of RAS, RAF1 and the MAP kinases MAPK1/ERK2 and/or MAPK3/ERK1. Promotes activation of STAT family members STAT1, STAT3, STAT5A and STAT5B. Activation of PLCG1 leads to the production of the cellular signaling molecules diacylglycerol and inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate. KIT signaling is modulated by protein phosphatases, and by rapid internalization and degradation of the receptor. Activated KIT promotes phosphorylation of the protein phosphatases PTPN6/SHP-1 and PTPRU, and of the transcription factors STAT1, STAT3, STAT5A and STAT5B. Promotes phosphorylation of PIK3R1, CBL, CRK (isoform Crk-II), LYN, MAPK1/ERK2 and/or MAPK3/ERK1, PLCG1, SRC and SHC1.         
Publication Abstract from PubMed
Most gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GISTs) exhibit aberrant activation of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) KIT. The efficacy of the inhibitors imatinib mesylate and sunitinib malate in GIST patients has been linked to their inhibition of these mutant KIT proteins. However, patients on imatinib can acquire secondary KIT mutations that render the protein insensitive to the inhibitor. Sunitinib has shown efficacy against certain imatinib-resistant mutants, although a subset that resides in the activation loop, including D816H/V, remains resistant. Biochemical and structural studies were undertaken to determine the molecular basis of sunitinib resistance. Our results show that sunitinib targets the autoinhibited conformation of WT KIT and that the D816H mutant undergoes a shift in conformational equilibrium toward the active state. These findings provide a structural and enzymologic explanation for the resistance profile observed with the KIT inhibitors. Prospectively, they have implications for understanding oncogenic kinase mutants and for circumventing drug resistance.
KIT kinase mutants show unique mechanisms of drug resistance to imatinib and sunitinib in gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients.,Gajiwala KS, Wu JC, Christensen J, Deshmukh GD, Diehl W, Dinitto JP, English JM, Greig MJ, He YA, Jacques SL, Lunney EA, McTigue M, Molina D, Quenzer T, Wells PA, Yu X, Zhang Y, Zou A, Emmett MR, Marshall AG, Zhang HM, Demetri GD Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Feb 3;106(5):1542-7. Epub 2009 Jan 21. PMID:19164557
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.