BACKGROUND The t(9;22) translocation leads to the formation of the chimeric breakpoint cluster region/c-abl oncogene 1 (BCR/ABL) fusion gene on der22, the Philadelphia chromosome. The p185(BCR/ABL) or the p210(BCR/ABL) fusion proteins are encoded as a result of the translocation, depending on whether a "minor" or "major" breakpoint occurs, respectively. Both p185(BCR/ABL) and p210(BCR/ABL) exhibit constitutively activated ABL kinase activity. Through fusion to BCR the ABL kinase in p185(BCR/ABL) and p210(BCR/ABL) "escapes" the auto-inhibition mechanisms of c-ABL, such as allosteric inhibition. A novel class of compounds including GNF-2 restores allosteric inhibition of the kinase activity and the transformation potential of BCR/ABL. Here we investigated whether there are differences between p185(BCR/ABL) and p210(BCR/ABL) regarding their sensitivity towards allosteric inhibition by GNF-2 in models of Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphatic leukemia. DESIGN AND METHODS We investigated the anti-proliferative activity of GNF-2 in different Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphatic leukemia models, such as cell lines, patient-derived long-term cultures and factor-dependent lymphatic Ba/F3 cells expressing either p185(BCR/ABL) or p210(BCR/ABL) and their resistance mutants. RESULTS The inhibitory effects of GNF-2 differed constantly between p185(BCR/ABL) and p210(BCR/ABL) expressing cells. In all three Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphatic leukemia models, p210(BCR/ABL)-transformed cells were more sensitive to GNF-2 than were p185BCR/ABL-positive cells. Similar results were obtained for p185(BCR/ABL) and the p210(BCR/ABL) harboring resistance mutations. CONCLUSIONS Our data provide the first evidence of a differential response of p185(BCR/ABL)- and p210(BCR/ABL)- transformed cells to allosteric inhibition by GNF-2, which is of importance for the treatment of patients with Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphatic leukemia.