Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable hematologic malignancy characterized by recurrent chromosomal translocations. Patients with t(4;14)(p16;q32) are the worst prognostic subgroup in MM, although the basis for this poor prognosis is unknown. The t(4;14) is unusual in that it involves 2 potential target genes: fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) and multiple myeloma SET domain (MMSET). MMSET is universally overexpressed in t(4;14) MM, whereas FGFR3 expression is lost in one-third of cases. Nonetheless, the role of MMSET in t(4;14) MM has remained unclear. Here we demonstrate a role for MMSET in t(4;14) MM cells. Down-regulation of MMSET expression in MM cell lines by RNA interference and by selective disruption of the translocated MMSET allele using gene targeting dramatically reduced colony formation in methylcellulose but had only modest effects in liquid culture. In addition, MMSET knockdown led to cell-cycle arrest of adherent MM cells and reduced the ability of MM cells to adhere to extracellular matrix. Finally, MMSET knockdown and knockout reduced tumor formation by MM xenografts. These results provide the first direct evidence that MMSET plays a significant role in t(4;14) MM and suggest that therapies targeting this gene could impact this particular subset of poor-prognosis patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology