The majority of myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), i.e. Polycythemia vera (PV), Essential Thrombocytemia (ET) and Primary Myelofibrosis, are characterized by the presence of the acquired JAK2V617F gene mutation. Recent studies revealed that the 46/1 or “GGCC” haplotype located in the JAK2 gene is strongly associated with the development of a JAK2V617F positive MPN. However, this particular haplotype was also detected in excess in JAK2V617F negative MPN carrying mutations across JAK2 exon 12 or the MPL gene, suggesting that this germline genetic variation increases the risk of developing a MPN regardless of the acquisition of one particular mutation. A MPN is found in approximately half of the patients presenting with Splanchnic Vein Thrombosis (SVT) and JAK2V617F mutation is present in virtually all of these MPN patients. In this study we sought to clarify the impact of the JAK2 46/1 haplotype on the susceptibility to SVT.
Peripheral blood was obtained after informed consent; following DNA extraction we proceeded to genotyping using commercially available TaqMan SNP genotyping assays for one tag SNP (rs10974944) which is in complete linkage disequilibrium with the 46/1 haplotype. Results were confirmed using another tag SNP (rs1234867). The study was performed on 170 patients with SVT, 58 patients with peripheral vein thrombosis and 31 patients with JAK2V617F positive PV.
In the 170 patients with SVT the frequency of G-allele that stands for the 46/1 haplotype was 0.28 (CC n=89; C/G n=67; G/G n=14), not significantly different from that of the published population controls (n=1500) from the Welcome Trust Case Control Consortium WTCCC (0.24; p=0.11 by the Fisher exact test). The frequency of the 46/1 haplotype in 58 patients with peripheral vein thrombosis was also similar to that of the WTCCC (0.24). However, the frequency of the 46/1 haplotype in SVT patients was significantly different from its frequency in a group of 31 patients with JAK2V617F positive PV (0.52; p=0.0005). When we analysed SVT patients according to their JAK2 mutational status, we found no difference in the frequency of the 46/1 haplotype between the JAK2V617F positive patients (0.27; n=75) and the JAK2V617F negative patients (0.28; n=95) (p=0.90). Of note, a JAK2 allele burden greater than 50% was observed in 11% of patients with JAK2V617F positive SVT and 45% of patients with JAK2V617F positive PV.
In this large cohort of 170 patients with SVT the frequency of the 46/1 haplotype was not different from the cohort of controls of the WTCCC. This result suggests that the 46/1 haplotype is not a susceptibility locus for the development of SVT. Moreover, this haplotype was not overrepresented in the group of SVT patients harbouring a JAK2V617F mutation compared to JAK2V617F negative patients. This result is in apparent contradiction with the hypothesis that the 46/1 haplotype predisposes to the acquisition of JAK2V617F mutation or of a MPN, in agreement with recent studies reporting almost identical 46/1 frequencies between V617F-negative patients and V617F-positive patients with low mutation burden (i.e. <50%), which is the case of SVT patients in this series.
No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.
Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.