A point mutation (V617F) in the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) gene results in the production of disorderly activated tyrosine kinase, which causes myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). We herein demonstrated that the RNA helicase DDX5 was highly expressed at the mRNA and protein levels through the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) in Ba/F3 cells expressing a JAK2V617F mutant and erythropoietin receptor (V617F/EpoR cells) and MPN patient-derived HEL cells. A treatment with the JAK1/2 inhibitor, ruxolitinib and STAT5 inhibitor, pimozide significantly inhibited DDX5 mRNA expression and enhanced the degradation of DDX5 in these cells, suggesting that the JAK2V617F mutant positively regulates DDX5 mRNA expression and DDX5 protein stability by activating STAT5. The knockdown of DDX5 specifically inhibited the activation of mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) in V617F/EpoR cells and HEL cells and significantly suppressed the proliferation of these cells. Furthermore, the knockdown of DDX5 markedly suppressed tumorigenesis, splenomegaly, and liver hypertrophy caused by an inoculation of V617F/EpoR cells in nude mice. Collectively, these results revealed that JAK2V617F exhibits transforming activity by inducing the expression of DDX5 in a STAT5-dependent manner, indicating the potential of the JAK2V617F/STAT5/DDX5 axis as a therapeutic target in the treatment of MPN.
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