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Annu Rev Med. 2008;59:213-22.

A role for JAK2 mutations in myeloproliferative diseases.

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  • 1Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) are characterized by a clonal expansion of myeloid cells. Over the past two years, the identification of the JAK2V617F mutation in most cases of polycythemia vera (PV) as well as approximately 50% of patients with essential thrombocythemia (ET) and idiopathic myelofibrosis (IMF) has greatly advanced our understanding of MPDs. The JAK2V617F mutation alters the JAK2 tyrosine kinase to confer constitutive activation and affect downstream signaling pathways. Data from mouse models demonstrate that the mutation is sufficient for development of PV, but additional work is needed to better understand how this allele functions in ET and IMF. Regardless of the various pathologies, the JAK2V617F discovery highlights the importance of JAK-STAT signaling in myeloid differentiation and focuses effort on developing a clinically relevant JAK2 inhibitor.

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