Small molecule inhibitors targeting JAK2 provide symptomatic benefits for myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) patients and are among first-line therapeutic agents. However, despite all having potent capacity to suppress JAK–STAT signaling, they demonstrate distinct clinical profiles suggesting contributory effects in targeting other ancillary pathways. Here, we performed comprehensive profiling on four JAK2 inhibitors either FDA-approved (ruxolitinib, fedratinib, and pacritinib) or undergoing phase 3 studies (momelotinib) to better outline mechanistic and therapeutic efficacy. Across JAK2-mutant in vitro models, all four inhibitors demonstrated similar anti-proliferative phenotypes, whereas pacritinib yielded greatest potency on suppressing colony formation in primary samples, while momelotinib exhibited unique erythroid colony formation sparing. All inhibitors reduced leukemic engraftment, disease burden, and extended survival across patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models, with strongest effects elicited by pacritinib. Through RNA-sequencing and gene set enrichment analyses, differential suppressive degrees of JAK–STAT and inflammatory response signatures were revealed, which we validated with signaling and cytokine suspension mass cytometry across primary samples. Lastly, we assessed the capacity of JAK2 inhibitors to modulate iron regulation, uncovering potent suppression of hepcidin and SMAD signaling by pacritinib. These comparative findings provide insight into the differential and beneficial effects of ancillary targeting beyond JAK2 and may help guide the use of specific inhibitors in personalized therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1029-1042
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of hematology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2023


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