Background. Ph-negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are characterized by proliferation of one or more myeloid cell lineages and include polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET) and primary myelofibrosis (PMF). Somatic Jak2, MPL and CALR gene mutations are responsible for more than 90% of NPM cases. These mutations affect sequential stages of prolipherative signal transduction and therefore after the emergence of one type of mutation another types basically should not have any selective advantages for clonal expansion. However, simultaneous findings of these mutations have been reported by different investigators in up to 10% of MPN cases.

Aim. To evaluate frequencies of MPL and CALR mutations in Jak2 positive MPN cases for Russian cohort of patients.

Methods. Archival DNA samples from MPN patients followed up at the National Research Center for Hematology between 2014 and 2019 included into retrospective study. DNAs and RNAs were extracted from blood using reagent kit from Interlabservice (Russia). Jak2 V617F mutation was quantified by real-time PCR kit from Syntol (Russia) according to manufacturers instructions. CALR exon 9 deletions/insertions were analyzed by fragment analysis (sensitivity >= 3%). MPL W515L/K mutations were assessed by in-house allele specific PCR. All cases were tested for phi-negativity using BCR-ABl p210 PCR kit from Interlabservice (Russia).

Results. At least one of the mutations was found in 3863 cases. Jak2 V617F mutation - 3385 cases (87.6%); CALR insertion or deletion - 471 case (12.2%); MPLW515L/K mutation - 31 case (0.8%). We have found 28 cases (0.7%) with Jak2 and CALR mutations combined and 3 cases (0.1%) with Jak2 and MPL mutations in the cohort studied. Matched measures were obtained at least twice at different time points during the course of disease for these cases. No cases with simultaneous CALR and MPL mutations were detected. In 23 from 31 (74%) cases with combined mutations Jak2 V617F allele burden was lower than 3%. Among cases with combined mutations 5 were diagnosed with PV, 8 - with ET, 8 - with PMF and 10 with unclassified MPN. No correlations between diagnosis, mutation combination or allele burden were found.

Conclusions. Based on the data, obtained on retrospective DNA samples we cannot state whether combined mutations are present in different clones of myeloid cells or in one. Indirectly, the fact that more often mutations in CALR and MPL genes were found in the cases with a low Jak2 V617F allele burden may indicate that additional mutations occur in the "competing" cell clone. Further prospective studies with mutation monitoring over the therapy are required to assess the value of combined mutations for MPN pathogenesis.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.