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The human c-Kit oncogene is a member of the type III receptor tyrosine kinase family.  Normally, c-Kit is expressed in hematopoietic precursors and plays a crucial role in normal hematopoiesis.  Activating mutations in the human C-KIT protein have been observed in a variety of human tumors including acute myeloid leukemia (AML).  Patients with mutations in the C-Kit gene have significantly poor prognosis, lower survival rates, and slow resistance to chemotherapy.  Mutations in c-Kit exon 8 and 17 were shown to have independent negative impact from de novo to relapsed AML, confirming its role in malignant progression.  Given that activated c-Kit potentially can be targeted with  novel tyrosine kinase inhibitors, identification of mutations in exon 8, exon 9, exon 11, exon 13 and exon 17 may assist in both prognostic and therapeutic purposes in patients with AML.  The lab identifies mutations in the C-Kit gene by Sanger sequencing.