Germline JAK2 E846D Substitution as the Cause of Erythrocytosis?

Genes (Basel). 2023 May 11;14(5):1066. doi: 10.3390/genes14051066.


The discovery in 2005 of the JAK2 V617F gain-of-function mutation in myeloproliferative neoplasms and more particularly in polycythemia vera has deeply changed the diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to polycythemia. More recently, the use of NGS in routine practice has revealed a large number of variants, although it is not always possible to classify them as pathogenic. This is notably the case for the JAK2 E846D variant for which for which questions remain unanswered. In a large French national cohort of 650 patients with well-characterized erythrocytosis, an isolated germline heterozygous JAK2 E846D substitution was observed in only two cases. For one of the patients, a family study could be performed, without segregation of the variant with the erythrocytosis phenotype. On the other hand, based on the large UK Biobank resource cohort including more than half a million UK participants, the JAK2 E846D variant was found in 760 individuals, associated with a moderate increase in hemoglobin and hematocrit values, but with no significant difference to the mean values of the rest of the studied population. Altogether, our data as well as UK Biobank cohort analyses suggest that the occurrence of an absolute polycythemia cannot be attributed to the sole demonstration of an isolated JAK2 E846D variant. However, it must be accompanied by other stimuli or favoring factors in order to generate absolute erythrocytosis.

Keywords: JAK2 mutation; erythrocytosis; familial erythrocytosis; germline mutation.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Hematocrit
  • Humans
  • Janus Kinase 2 / genetics
  • Polycythemia Vera* / genetics
  • Polycythemia* / diagnosis
  • Polycythemia* / genetics


  • JAK2 protein, human
  • Janus Kinase 2

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.