Recurrent numerical aberrations of JAK2 and deregulation of the JAK2-STAT cascade in lymphomas

Cecile Meier, Sylvia Hoeller, Caroline Bourgau, Petra Hirschmann, Juerg Schwaller, Philip Went, Stefano A. Pileri, Andreas Reiter, Stephan Dirnhofer, Alexandar Tzankov

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The Janus kinase 2 (JAK2)-signal transducers and activators of transcription (STAT) pathway plays an important role in hematological malignancies. Mutations and translocations of the JAK2 gene, mapped at 9p24, lead to constitutive activation of JAK2 and its downstream targets. The presence of JAK2 mutations in lymphomas has been addressed in larger cohorts, but there are little systemic data on numerical and structural JAK2 aberrations in lymphoid neoplasms. To study the molecular epidemiology of these aberrations and the consecutive activation of the JAK2-STAT pathway in lymphomas, we examined 527 cases, covering the most common entities, in a tissue microarray by fluorescent in situ hybridization with breakable JAK2 probes, and immunohistochemistry for phosphorylated JAK2 (pJAK2) and its preferred downstream pSTAT3 and pSTAT5. 9p24 gains were detected in 6/17 (35%) primary mediastinal B-cell lymphomas (PMBCLs), 25/77 (33%) Hodgkin's lymphomas (HLs), 3/16 (19%) angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphomas (AILTs) and 1/5 ALK1+ anaplastic large cell lymphomas (ALCLs); breaks were observed only in three cases. pJAK2 expression was most prevalent in PMBCL, peripheral T-cell lymphomas and HL. pSTAT3 predominated in ALCLs, HLs, AILTs, PMBCLs and peripheral T-cell lymphomas. pSTAT5 expression was detected frequently in follicular lymphomas, diffuse large B-cell lymphomas and AILTs. 9p24 gains correlated with increased proportions of tumor cells expressing pJAK2 (P=0.002) and pSTAT3 (P=0.001). In follicular lymphomas, concomitant expression of pJAK2 and pSTAT5 was linked to better prognosis, whereas expression of pSTAT3 in nongerminal center-like diffuse large B-cell lymphomas could identify a patient group with an inferior outcome. Our findings stress that despite the rarity of activating JAK2 mutations in lymphomas, JAK2 is recurrently targeted by numerical, and rarely by structural, genetic aberrations in distinct lymphoma subtypes and that JAK2-STAT pathway may play a role in lymphomagenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-487
Number of pages12
JournalModern Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • FISH
  • Gains 9p24
  • Janus kinase 2
  • Lymphoma
  • pSTAT3
  • pSTAT5

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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