The saga of JAK2 mutations and translocations in hematologic disorders: pathogenesis, diagnostic and therapeutic prospects, and revised World Health Organization diagnostic criteria for myeloproliferative neoplasms

Cristina A. Smith, Guang Fan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


JAK2 is a tyrosine kinase involved in cytokine signaling. The JAK2V617F point mutation, first described in 2005, results in constitutive activation of JAK2 and is now widely used as a diagnostic marker for Philadelphia chromosome negative myeloproliferative neoplasms. In recent years, more novel JAK2 mutations and fusion genes have been discovered in myeloproliferative neoplasms and other hematologic malignancies. This review aims to summarize the discovery and use of the JAK2V617F point mutation, other novel JAK2 mutations, and JAK2 translocations in diagnosing myeloproliferative neoplasms, acute myeloid leukemia, and acute lymphoid leukemia. JAK2 mutation testing is addressed, including the sensitivity and specificity of the different JAK2 mutation testing methods, clinical indications for use, and the use of quantitative JAK2 mutation testing for routine pathologic diagnosis, prognosis, and monitoring response to therapy. The relationship of JAK2 mutation to endogenous erythroid colony formation, thrombopoietin receptor mutation, polycythemia rubra vera-1 overexpression, and thrombopoietin receptor underexpression in myeloproliferative neoplasms are explored. Also discussed are the JAK2 inhibitors for clinical trials. Finally, the advantages of the newly proposed World Health Organization classification for myeloproliferative neoplasms are reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-810
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Pathology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2008



  • Acute lymphoblastic leukemia
  • Acute myeloid leukemia
  • Chronic myeloproliferative disorder
  • JAK2 mutation
  • JAK2 translocation
  • Lymphoma
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Myeloproliferative neoplasms
  • WHO classification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this