Calreticulin (CALR) mutation in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs)

Stem Cell Investig. 2015 Aug 31:2:16. doi: 10.3978/j.issn.2306-9759.2015.08.01. eCollection 2015.


As a heterogeneous group of disease, myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) have confused hematologists and hematopathologists with their protean clinical presentations and myriads of morphologies. A thought of classifying MPNs based on molecular alterations has gained popularity because there is increasing evidence that molecular or chromosomal alterations have a better correlation with clinical presentation, response to therapies, and prognosis than conventional morphological classification. This type of efforts has been facilitated by the advancement of molecular technologies. A significant number of gene mutations have been identified in MPNs with JAK2 and MPL being the major ones. However, a significant gap is present in that many cases of MPNs do not harbor any of these mutations. This gap is recently filled by the discovery of Calreticulin (CALR) mutation in MPNs without JAK2 or MPL mutation and since then, the clinical and molecular correlation in MPNs has become a hot research topic. There seems to be a fairly consistent correlation between CALR mutation and certain hematological parameters such as a high platelet count and a better prognosis in MPNs with CALR mutation. However, controversies are present regarding the risks of thrombosis, interactions of CALR with other gene mutation, the role of CALR in the pathogenesis, and the optimal treatment strategies. In addition, there are many questions remain to be answered, which all boiled down to the molecular mechanisms by which CALR causes or contributes to MPNs. Here, we summarized current published literatures on CALR mutations in MPNs with an emphasis on the clinical-molecular correlation. We also discussed the controversies and questions remain to be answered.

Keywords: Calreticulin (CALR); Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MNPs); clinical correlation.

Publication types

  • Review