We describe a novel ERBB1/EGFR somatic mutation (p. C329R; c.985 T > C) identified in a patient with JAK2V617F Polycythaemia Vera (PV). This substitution affects a conserved cysteine residue in EGFR domain 2 and leads to the formation of a ligand-independent covalent receptor dimer, associated with increased transforming potential. Aberrant signalling from the EGFRC329R receptor is cell type-dependent and in the TF1.8 erythroid cell line expression of this mutant suppresses EPO-induced differentiation. Clonal analysis shows that the dominant JAK2V617F-positive clone in this PV patient harbors EGFRC329R, thus this mutation may contribute to clonal expansion. Somatic mutations affecting other ERBB and related receptor tyrosine kinases are observed in myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN), and we show elevated EGFR levels in MPN samples, consistent with previous reports. Thus activation of this group of receptors, via multiple mechanisms, may contribute to clonal growth and survival of the JAK2V617F disease clone in MPN.
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