Nuclear JAK2: form and function in cancer

Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2011 Sep;294(9):1446-59. doi: 10.1002/ar.21443. Epub 2011 Aug 1.


The conventional view of Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) is a nonreceptor tyrosine kinase which transmits information to the nucleus via the signal transducer and activator of transcriptions (STATs) without leaving the cytoplasm. However, accumulating data suggest that JAK2 may signal by exporting from cytoplasm to nucleus, where it guides the transcriptional machinery independent of STATs protein. Recent studies demonstrated that JAK2 is a crucial component of signaling pathways operating in the nucleus. Especially the latest landmark discovery confirmed that JAK2 goes into the nucleus and directly interacts with nucleoproteins, such as histone H3 at tyrosine 41 (H3Y41), nuclear factor 1-C2 (NF1-C2) and SWI/SNF-related helicases/ATPases (RUSH)-1α, indicating that JAK2 has a fresh nuclear function. Nuclear JAK2 is linked to a variety of cellular functions, such as cell cycle progression, apoptosis and genetic instability. The balance between these functions is an essential factor in determining whether a cell remains benign or becomes malignant. The aim of this review is intended to summarize the state of our knowledge on nuclear localization of JAK2 and nuclear JAK2 pathways, and to highlight the emerging roles for nuclear JAK2 in carcinogenesis.

Keywords: NF1-C2; RUSH-1α1; carcinogenesis; histone H3Y41; nuclear JAK2; signaling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 2 / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Janus Kinase 2