Proteomic identification of proliferation and progression markers in human polycythemia vera stem and progenitor cells

Blood Adv. 2022 Jun 14;6(11):3480-3493. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005344.


Polycythemia vera (PV) is a stem cell disorder characterized by hyperproliferation of the myeloid lineages and the presence of an activating JAK2 mutation. To elucidate mechanisms controlling PV stem and progenitor cell biology, we applied a recently developed highly sensitive data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry workflow to purified hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) subpopulations of patients with chronic and progressed PV. We integrated proteomic data with genomic, transcriptomic, flow cytometry, and in vitro colony formation data. Comparative analyses revealed added information gained by proteomic compared with transcriptomic data in 30% of proteins with changed expression in PV patients. Upregulated biological pathways in hematopoietic stem and multipotent progenitor cells (HSC/MPPs) of PV included mammalian target of rapamycin (MTOR), STAT, and interferon signaling. We further identified a prominent reduction of clusterin (CLU) protein expression and a corresponding activation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling in HSC/MPPs of untreated PV patients compared with controls. Reversing the reduction of CLU and inhibiting NF-κB signaling decreased proliferation and differentiation of PV HSC/MPPs in vitro. Upon progression of PV, we identified upregulation of LGALS9 and SOCS2 protein expression in HSC/MPPs. Treatment of patients with hydroxyurea normalized the expression of CLU and NF-κB2 but not of LGALS9 and SOCS2. These findings expand the current understanding of the molecular pathophysiology underlying PV and provide new potential targets (CLU and NF-κB) for antiproliferative therapy in patients with PV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Proliferation
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 2 / genetics
  • NF-kappa B
  • Polycythemia Vera* / diagnosis
  • Polycythemia Vera* / genetics
  • Proteomics


  • NF-kappa B
  • Janus Kinase 2