Growth, survival and differentiation of hematopoietic cells are regulated by the interactions between hematopoietic growth factors and their receptors. The defect in these interactions results in a failure of hematopoiesis, while aberrantly elevated and/or sustained activation of these signals cause hematologic malignancies. Among them, constitutively activating mutations of the receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), such as c-Kit, platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) and FLT3, are often involved in the pathogenesis of various types of hematologic malignancies. Constitutive activation of RTKs is provoked by several mechanisms including chromosomal translocations and various mutations involving their regulatory regions. Chromosomal translocations commonly generate chimeric proteins consisting of the cytoplasmic domain of RTKs and the dimerization or multimerization motif of the fusion partner, resulting in the constitutive dimerization of RTKs. On the other hand, missense, insertion or deletion mutations in the regulatory regions, such as juxtamembrane domain, activation loop, and extracellular domain, also cause constitutive activation of RTKs mainly by preventing the auto-inhibitory regulation. Oncogenic RTKs activate downstream signaling molecules such as Ras/MAPK, PI3-K/Akt/mTOR, and STATs as well as ligand-activated wild type RTKs. However, their signals are quantitatively and qualitatively different from wild type RTKs. Based on these findings, several agents that target oncogenic RTKs or their downstream molecules have been developed: imatinib and FLT3 inhibitors for RTKs themselves, farnesyltransferase inhibitors, mTOR inhibitors and MEK inhibitors for the downstream signaling molecules. As promising results have been obtained in several clinical trials using these agents, the establishment of these molecular targeted agents is expected. (Cancer Sci 2008; 99: 479–485)