Phosphoproteomic Landscaping Identifies Non-canonical cKIT Signaling in Polycythemia Vera Erythroid Progenitors

Giulia Federici, Lilian Varricchio, Fabrizio Martelli, Mario Falchi, Orietta Picconi, Federica Francescangeli, Paola Contavalli, Gabriella Girelli, Agostino Tafuri, Emanuel F. Petricoin, Maria Mazzarini, Ann Zeuner, Anna Rita Migliaccio*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Although stem cell factor (SCF)/cKIT interaction plays key functions in erythropoiesis, cKIT signaling in human erythroid cells is still poorly defined. To provide new insights into cKIT-mediated erythroid expansion in development and disease, we performed phosphoproteomic profiling of primary erythroid progenitors from adult blood (AB), cord blood (CB), and Polycythemia Vera (PV) at steady-state and upon SCF stimulation. While AB and CB, respectively, activated transient or sustained canonical cKIT-signaling, PV showed a non-canonical signaling including increased mTOR and ERK1 and decreased DEPTOR. Accordingly, screening of FDA-approved compounds showed increased PV sensitivity to JAK, cKIT, and MEK inhibitors. Moreover, differently from AB and CB, in PV the mature 145kDa-cKIT constitutively associated with the tetraspanin CD63 and was not endocytosed upon SCF stimulation, contributing to unrestrained cKIT signaling. These results identify a clinically exploitable variegation of cKIT signaling/metabolism that may contribute to the great erythroid output occurring during development and in PV.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1245
JournalFrontiers in Oncology
StatePublished - 22 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • cKIT
  • erythroid progenitors
  • erythropoiesis
  • polycythemia vera
  • stem cell factor


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