Background: Despite the discovery of the p.V617F in JAK2, the molecular pathogenesis of some chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms remains unclear. Although very rare, different studies have identified CBL (Cas-Br-Murine ecotropic retroviral transforming sequence) mutations in V617FJAK2-negative patients, mainly located in the RING finger domain. In order to determine the frequency of CBL mutations in these diseases, we studied different regions of all CBL family genes (CBL, CBLB and CBLC) in a selected group of patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms. We also included V617FJAK2-positive patients to check whether mutations in CBL and JAK2 are mutually exclusive events.
Design and methods: Using denaturing high performance liquid chromatography, we screened for mutations in CBL, CBLB and CBLC in a group of 172 V617FJAK2-negative and 232 V617FJAK2-positive patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms not selected for loss of heterozygosity. The effect on cell proliferation of the mutations detected was analyzed on a 32D(FLT3) cell model.
Results: An initial screening of all coding exons of CBL, CBLB and CBLC in 44 V617FJAK2-negative samples revealed two new CBL mutations (p.C416W in the RING finger domain and p.A678V in the proline-rich domain). Analyses performed on 128 additional V617FJAK2-negative and 232 V617FJAK2-positive samples detected three CBL changes (p.T402HfsX29, p.P417R and p.S675C in two cases) in four V617FJAK2-positive patients. None of these mutations was found in 200 control samples. Cell proliferation assays showed that all of the mutations promoted hypersensitivity to interleukin-3 in 32D(FLT3) cells.
Conclusions: Although mutations described to date have been found in the RING finger domain and in the linker region of CBL, we found a similar frequency of mutations in the proline-rich domain. In addition, we found CBL mutations in both V617FJAK2-positive (4/232; 1.7%) and negative (2/172; 1.2%) patients and all of them promoted hypersensitivity to interleukin-3.