Overexpression of c-maf is a frequent oncogenic event in multiple myeloma that promotes proliferation and pathological interactions with bone marrow stroma

Hurt EM, Wiestner A, Rosenwald A, Shaffer AL, Campo E, Grogan T, Bergsagel PL, Kuehl WM and Staudt LM
Source: Cancer Cell
Publication Date: (2004)
Issue: 5: 191-199
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
NCI-H929 [H929]
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
In the human multiple myeloma cell line H929, reduction of c-maf expression was achieved by nucleofection with a c-maf siRNA construct. As an effect, monitored by RT-PCR, the mRNA of three target genes was also knocked down. In addition, decreased surface expression of one of these target genes was detected.
The oncogene c-maf is translocated in approximately 5%-10% of multiple myelomas. Unexpectedly, we observed c-maf expression in myeloma cell lines lacking c-maf translocations and in 50% of multiple myeloma bone marrow samples. By gene expression profiling, we identified three c-maf target genes: cyclin D2, integrin beta7, and CCR1. c-maf transactivated the cyclin D2 promoter and enhanced myeloma proliferation, whereas dominant inhibition of c-maf blocked tumor formation in immunodeficient mice. c-maf-driven expression of integrin beta7 enhanced myeloma adhesion to bone marrow stroma and increased production of VEGF. We propose that c-maf transforms plasma cells by stimulating cell cycle progression and by altering bone marrow stromal interactions. The frequent overexpression of c-maf in myeloma makes it an attractive target for therapeutic intervention.