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Genes Cancer. 2010 Oct;1(10):979-93. doi: 10.1177/1947601910397187.

Jak/STAT pathways in cytokine signaling and myeloproliferative disorders: approaches for targeted therapies.

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  • 1Department of Oncological Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.


Hematopoiesis is the cumulative result of intricately regulated signaling pathways that are mediated by cytokines and their receptors. Studies conducted over the past 10 to 15 years have revealed that hematopoietic cytokine receptor signaling is largely mediated by a family of tyrosine kinases termed Janus kinases (JAKs) and their downstream transcription factors, termed STATs (signal transducers and activators of transcription). Aberrations in these pathways, such as those caused by the recently identified JAK2(V617F) mutation and translocations of the JAK2 gene, are underlying causes of leukemias and other myeloproliferative disorders. This review discusses the role of JAK/STAT signaling in normal hematopoiesis as well as genetic abnormalities associated with myeloproliferative and myelodisplastic syndromes. This review also summarizes the status of several small molecule JAK2 inhibitors that are currently at various stages of clinical development. Several of these compounds appear to improve the quality of life of patients with myeloproliferative disorders by palliation of disease-related symptoms. However, to date, these agents do not seem to significantly affect bone marrow fibrosis, alter marrow histopathology, reverse cytopenias, reduce red cell transfusion requirements, or significantly reduce allele burden. These results suggest the possibility that additional mutational events might be associated with the development of these neoplasms, and indicate the need for combination therapies as the nature and significance of these additional molecular events is better understood.


JAK; JAK2 inhibitors; STAT; cytokine receptor; myeloproliferative disorders

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