Mpl Baltimore: A thrombopoietin receptor polymorphism associated with thrombocytosis

Alison R Moliterno, Donna M. Williams, Laura Gutierrez, Roberto Salvatori, Roxann G. Ingersoll, Jerry L Spivak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The chronic myeloproliferative disorders (MPD) are clonal hematopoietic stem cell disorders of unknown etiology. We have reported defective thrombopoietin receptor (Mpl) protein expression in MPD patients. To determine whether the basis of abnormal Mpl protein expression was due to mutations in the Mpl gene, we sequenced Mpl cDNA from MPD patients. We found a single nucleotide substitution (G1238T) that results in a change from lysine to asparagine at amino acid 39 (K39N) in three African-American women referred for an evaluation of an MPD. We subsequently screened more than 400 patients and controls and found that the K39N substitution is a polymorphism restricted to African Americans and that ≈7% of African Americans are heterozygous for K39N. African Americans with the K39N polymorphism had a significantly higher platelet count than controls without the polymorphism (P <0.001) and reduced platelet protein Mpl expression. Expression of an Mpl cDNA containing the K39N substitution in cell lines was associated with incomplete processing and a reduction in Mpl protein, recapitulating the Mpl protein defect observed in platelets from individuals with K39N. K39N represents an identified functional Mpl polymorphism and is associated with altered protein expression of Mpl and a clinical phenotype of thrombocytosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11444-11447
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Aug 3 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • General

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