The t(4;14) translocation in multiple myeloma (MM) simultaneously dysregulates two apparent oncogenes: fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) controlled by the 3′ immunoglobulin heavy chain enhancer on der(14) and MMSET controlled by the intronic Eμ enhancer on der(4). Although all MM tumors and cell lines with a t(4;14) translocation have dysregulated MMSET, about 25% do not express FGFR3. Therefore, the function of dysregulated wild-type (WT) FGFR3 in the pathogenesis of MM remains unclear. We developed a murine transgenic (TG) model in which WT FGFR3 is over-expressed in B lymphoid cells. Although high levels of FGFR3 resulted in lymphoid hyperplasia in about one-third of older mice, no increase in tumorigenesis was observed. However, double TG FGFR3/Myc mice develop mature B lymphoma tumors that occur with a higher penetrance and shorter latency than in single TG Myc mice (P = 0.006). We conclude that expression of high levels of WT FGFR3 can be oncogenic and cooperate with MYC to generate B lymphoid tumors. This suggests that dysregulated FGFR3 expression is likely to be essential at least for the early stages of pathogenesis of MM tumors that have a t(4;14) translocation.
FGFR3; Myc; lymphoma; multiple myeloma; oncogene
FGFR3 is implicated in several human diseases. Following activation and endocytosis, FGFR3 undergoes sequential ectodomain and intramembrane cleavages to generate a soluble cytoplasmic fragment that can translocate to the nucleus.
Fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) is a major negative regulator of bone growth that inhibits the proliferation and differentiation of growth plate chondrocytes. Activating mutations of its c isoform cause dwarfism in humans; somatic mutations can drive oncogenic transformation in multiple myeloma and bladder cancer. How these distinct activities arise is not clear. FGFR3 was previously shown to undergo proteolytic cleavage in the bovine rib growth plate, but this was not explored further. Here, we show that FGF1 induces regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) of FGFR3. The ectodomain is proteolytically cleaved (S1) in response to ligand-induced receptor activation, but unlike most RIP target proteins, it requires endocytosis and does not involve a metalloproteinase. S1 cleavage generates a C-terminal domain fragment that initially remains anchored in the membrane, is phosphorylated, and is spatially distinct from the intact receptor. Ectodomain cleavage is followed by intramembrane cleavage (S2) to generate a soluble intracellular domain that is released into the cytosol and can translocate to the nucleus. We identify the S1 cleavage site and show that γ-secretase mediates the S2 cleavage event. In this way we demonstrate a mechanism for the nuclear localization of FGFR3 in response to ligand activation, which may occur in both development and disease.
Multiple myeloma accounts for ~10% of all hematologic malignancies.
The diagnosis requires 10% or more clonal plasma cells on bone marrow examination or a biopsy proven plasmacytoma plus evidence of end-organ damage felt to be related to the underlying plasma-cell disorder.
Patients with 17p deletion, t(14;16), t(14;20), or high-risk gene expression profiling signature have high-risk myeloma. Patients with t(4;14) translocation, karyotypic deletion 13, or hypodiploidy are considered to have intermediate-risk disease. All others are considered to have standard-risk myeloma.
Standard-risk patients are treated with nonalkylator-based therapy such as lenalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone (Rd) followed by autologous stem-cell transplantation (ASCT). An alternative strategy is to continue initial therapy after stem-cell collection, reserving ASCT for first relapse. Intermediate-risk and high-risk patients are treated with a bortezomib-based induction followed by ASCT and then bortezomib-based maintenance. Patients not eligible for ASCT can be treated with Rd for standard risk disease, or with a bortezomib-based regimen if intermediate-risk or high-risk features are present. To reduce toxicity, when using bortezomib, the once-weekly subcutaneous dose is preferred; similarly, when using dexamethasone, the low-dose approach (40 mg once a week) is preferred, unless there is a need for rapid disease control.
Management of refractory disease
Patients with indolent relapse can be treated first with two-drug or three-drug combinations. Patients with more aggressive relapse often require therapy with a combination of multiple active agents. The most promising new agents in development are pomalidomide and carfilizomib.
We studied 351 patients with smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) in whom the underlying primary molecular cytogenetic subtype could be determined based on cytoplasmic immunoglobulin fluorescent in situ hybridization studies. Hundred and fifty-four patients (43.9%) had trisomies, 127 (36.2%) had immunoglobulin heavy chain (IgH) translocations, 14 (4%) both trisomies and IgH translocations, 53 (15.1%) no abnormalities detected and 3 (0.9%) had monosomy13/del(13q) in the absence of any other abnormality. Among 127 patients with IgH translocations, 57 were t(11;14), 36 t(4;14), 11 musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma (MAF) translocations, and 23 other or unknown IgH translocation partner. Time to progression (TTP) to symptomatic multiple myeloma was significantly shorter in patients with the t(4;14) compared with patients with t(11;14), median 28 versus 55 months, respectively, P = 0.025. The median TTP was 28 months with t(4;14) (high-risk), 34 months with trisomies alone (intermediate-risk), 55 months with t(11;14), MAF translocations, other/unknown IgH translocations, monosomy13/del(13q) without other abnormalities, and those with both trisomies and IgH translocations (standard-risk), and not reached in patients with no detectable abnormalities (low-risk), P = 0.001. There was a trend to shorter TTP with deletion 17p (median TTP, 24 months). Overall survival from diagnosis of SMM was significantly inferior with t(4;14) compared with t(11;14), median 105 versus 147 months, respectively, P = 0.036.
smoldering multiple myeloma; cytogenetics; prognosis; biomarker
Ectopic activation of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) is associated with several cancers, including multiple myeloma (MM). FGFR3 inhibition in these cells inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis, validating FGFR3 signaling as a therapeutic target in t(4;14) MM cases. We have identified the PI3K regulatory subunit, p85α, as a novel interactor of FGFR3 by yeast two-hybrid, and confirmed an interaction with both p85α and p85β in mammalian cells. The interaction of FGFR3 with p85 is dependent upon receptor activation. In contrast to the Gab1-mediated association of FGFRs with p85, the FGFR3-p85 interaction we observed requires FGFR3 Y760, previously identified as a PLCγ binding site. The interaction of p85 with FGFR3 does not require PLCγ, suggesting the p85 interaction is direct and independent of PLCγ binding. FGFR3 and p85 proteins also interact in MM cell lines which consistently express p85α and p85β, but not p50 or p55 subunits. siRNA knockdown of p85β in MM cells caused an increased ERK response to FGF2. These data suggest that an endogenous negative regulatory role for the p85-FGFR3 interaction on the Ras/ERK/MAPK pathway may exist in response to FGFR3 activity and identifies a novel therapeutic target for MM.
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a clinically and genetically heterogenous cancer where tumour cells have dysregulated expression of a D-type cyclin, often in association with a recurrent IgH translocation. Patients whose tumour cells express cyclin D2, with the translocation t(4;14) or t(14;16), generally have more proliferative disease and inferior outcomes. The phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is a major regulator of D-type cyclin expression and cell cycle entry. We evaluated the effect of PI3K pathway blockade on cell cycle behaviour in MM cells, investigating differences between cyclin D2- and cyclin D1-expressing tumours. MM cell lines and primary bone marrow CD138+ MM cells were exposed to the pan-PI3K/mTOR inhibitor, PI-103, and assessed for cell cycle profiles, [3H]-thymidine uptake and cell cycle proteins. We report, in both cell lines and primary MM cells, that PI-103 induced cell cycle arrest with downregulation of cyclin D2 and CDK4/6 in MM cells expressing cyclin D2 via t(4;14) or t(14;16) translocations. Cells expressing cyclin D1 via t(11;14) were insensitive to PI-103, despite exhibiting inhibition of downstream signalling targets. In primary MM cells, PI-103 enhanced the anti-proliferative effects of anti-MM agents. Treatment paradigms including blockade of the PI3K/mTOR pathway should be targeted at patients with IgH translocations associated with cyclin D2 overexpression.
multiple myeloma; cyclin D; cell cycle; PI3K/mTOR; PI-103
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a clonal plasma cell malignancy clinically characterized by osteolytic lesions, immunodeficiency, and renal disease. There are an estimated 750,000 people diagnosed with MM worldwide, with a median overall survival of 3 – 5 years. Besides chromosomal aberrations, translocations, and mutations in essential growth and tumor-suppressor genes, accumulating data strongly highlight the pathophysiologic role of the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment in MM pathogenesis. Based on this knowledge, several novel agents have been identified, and treatment options in MM have fundamentally changed during the last decade. Thalidomide, bortezomib, and lenalidomide have been incorporated into conventional cytotoxic and transplantation regimens, first in relapsed and refractory and now also in newly diagnosed MM. Despite these significant advances, there remains an urgent need for more efficacious and tolerable drugs. Indeed, a plethora of preclinical agents awaits translation from the bench to the bedside. This article reviews the scientific rationale of new therapy regimens and newly identified therapeutic agents – small molecules as well as therapeutic antibodies – that hold promise to further improve outcome in MM.
bone marrow microenvironment; combination therapy; multiple myeloma
The histone lysine methyltransferase NSD2 (MMSET/WHSC1) is implicated in diverse diseases and commonly overexpressed in multiple myeloma due to a recurrent t(4;14) chromosomal translocation. However, the precise catalytic activity of NSD2 is obscure, preventing progress in understanding how this enzyme influences chromatin biology and myeloma pathogenesis. Here we show that dimethylation of histone H3 at lysine 36 (H3K36me2) is the principal chromatin-regulatory activity of NSD2. Catalysis of H3K36me2 by NSD2 is sufficient for gene activation. In t(4;14)-positive myeloma cells, the normal genome-wide and gene-specific distribution of H3K36me2 is obliterated, creating a chromatin landscape that selects for a transcription profile favorable for myelomagenesis. Catalytically active NSD2 confers xenograft tumor formation upon t(4;14)-negative cells, and promotes oncogenic transformation of primary cells in an H3K36me2-dependent manner. Together our findings establish H3K36me2 as the primary product generated by NSD2, and demonstrate that genomic disorganization of this canonical chromatin mark by NSD2 initiates oncogenic programming.
Overexpression of FGF receptor 3 (FGFR3) is implicated in the development of t(4;14)-positive multiple myeloma. While FGFR3 is frequently overexpressed and/or activated through mutations in bladder cancer, the functional importance of FGFR3 and its potential as a specific therapeutic target in this disease have not been elucidated in vivo. Here we report that inducible knockdown of FGFR3 in human bladder carcinoma cells arrested cell-cycle progression in culture and markedly attenuated tumor progression in xenografted mice. Further, we developed a unique antibody (R3Mab) that inhibited not only WT FGFR3, but also various mutants of the receptor, including disulfide-linked cysteine mutants. Biochemical analysis and 2.1-Å resolution crystallography revealed that R3Mab bound to a specific FGFR3 epitope that simultaneously blocked ligand binding, prevented receptor dimerization, and induced substantial conformational changes in the receptor. R3Mab exerted potent antitumor activity against bladder carcinoma and t(4;14)-positive multiple myeloma xenografts in mice by antagonizing FGFR3 signaling and eliciting antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC). These studies provide in vivo evidence demonstrating an oncogenic role of FGFR3 in bladder cancer and support antibody-based targeting of FGFR3 in hematologic and epithelial cancers driven by WT or mutant FGFR3.
Myeloma is a malignant proliferation of monoclonal plasma cells. Although morphologically similar, several subtypes of the disease have been identified at the genetic and molecular level. These genetic subtypes are associated with unique clinico-pathological features and dissimilar outcome. At the top hierarchical level, myeloma can be divided into hyperdiploid and non-hyperdiploid subtypes. The latter is mainly composed of cases harboring IgH translocations, generally associated with more aggressive clinical features and shorter survival. The three main IgH translocations in myeloma are the t(11;14)(q13;q32), t(4;14)(p16;q32) and t(14;16)(q32;q23). Trisomies and a more indolent form of the disease characterize hyperdiploid myeloma. A number of genetic progression factors have been identified including deletions of chromosomes 13 and 17 and abnormalities of chromosome 1 (1p deletion and 1q amplification). Other key drivers of cell survival and proliferation have also been identified such as nuclear factor- B-activating mutations and other deregulation factors for the cyclin-dependent pathways regulators. Further understanding of the biological subtypes of the disease has come from the application of novel techniques such as gene expression profiling and array-based comparative genomic hybridization. The combination of data arising from these studies and that previously elucidated through other mechanisms allows for most myeloma cases to be classified under one of several genetic subtypes. This paper proposes a framework for the classification of myeloma subtypes and provides recommendations for genetic testing. This group proposes that genetic testing needs to be incorporated into daily clinical practice and also as an essential component of all ongoing and future clinical trials.
multiple myeloma; genetics; cytogenetics; molecular; prognosis; gene expression profiling
Dysregulation of the receptor tyrosine kinase fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) plays a pathogenic role in a number of human hematopoietic malignancies and solid tumors. These include t(4;14) multiple myeloma associated with ectopic expression of FGFR3 and t(4;12)(p16;p13) acute myeloid leukemia associated with expression of a constitutively activated fusion tyrosine kinase, TEL-FGFR3. We recently reported that FGFR3 directly tyrosine phosphorylates RSK2 at Y529, which consequently regulates RSK2 activation. Here we identified Y707 as an additional tyrosine in RSK2 that is phosphorylated by FGFR3. Phosphorylation at Y707 contributes to RSK2 activation, through a putative disruption of the autoinhibitory αL-helix on the C terminus of RSK2, unlike Y529 phosphorylation, which facilitates ERK binding. Moreover, we found that FGFR3 interacts with RSK2 through residue W332 in the linker region of RSK2 and that this association is required for FGFR3-dependent phosphorylation of RSK2 at Y529 and Y707, as well as the subsequent RSK2 activation. Furthermore, in a murine bone marrow transplant assay, genetic deficiency in RSK2 resulted in a significantly delayed and attenuated myeloproliferative syndrome induced by TEL-FGFR3 as compared with wild-type cells, suggesting a critical role of RSK2 in FGFR3-induced hematopoietic transformation. Our current and previous findings represent a paradigm for tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent regulation of serine-threonine kinases.
Contrary to Total Therapy 2 (TT2), FGFR3-translocation bore no adverse effects on outcome in Total Therapy 3 (TT3) with added bortezomib. DelTP53, another poor-risk feature in TT2, was examined for its prognostic consequences in TT3 present in 10% of 441 patients treated. Not affecting rate or duration of complete response, TP53 haplo-insufficiency also did not compromise, in the 83% with genomically defined low-risk myeloma, survival or event-free survival. FGFR+ and FGFR3− molecular subgroups fared worse in the presence of delTP53 when applying TT2 but not TT3. Thus, delTP53’s prognostic implications were protocol- as well as genome-defined risk- and molecular subgroup-dependent.
Myeloma; TP53; Bortezomib; Prognosis; Genomics
Multiple myeloma is a malignant tumour of plasma cells with a median survival of two to three years. Karyotypic instability is seen at the earliest stage of the disease and increases with disease progression, leading to extreme genetic abnormalities similar to solid tumours. Translocations involving the immunoglobulin heavy chain region on chromosome 14q32 are clearly important in the pathogenesis of most myelomas. This review focuses on the different genetic abnormalities found in myeloma and discusses possible pathogenetic mechanisms and the implications for biologically based treatments.
multiple myeloma; cytogenetics; fluorescence in situ hybridisation; chromosomal translocations
Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by recurrent chromosomal translocations. MMSET, identified by its fusion to the IgH locus in t(4;14) MM, is universally overexpressed in t(4;14) MM. In order to identify cell surface biomarkers associated with t(4;14) MM for small molecule or antibody based therapies, we knocked down MMSET expression with shRNA and generated a cell line pair from KMS11, a t(4;14) MM cell line. We used quantitative mass spectrometry to identify plasma membrane proteins associated with MMSET overexpression. Using this approach, 50 cell surface proteins were identified as differentially expressed between KMS11 and KMS11/shMMSET. Western blot and flow cytometry analysis indicated SLAMF7 was over-expressed in t(4;14) MM cell lines and down-regulated by MMSET shRNAs. SLAMF7 expression was also confirmed in primary t(4;14) MM samples by flow cytometry analysis. Quantitative RT-PCR and ChIP analysis indicated MMSET might regulate the transcription level of SLAMF7 and be an important functional element for SLAMF7 promoter activity. Furthermore, SLAMF7 shRNA could induce G1 arrest or apoptosis and reduce clonogenetic capacity in t(4;14) MM cells. Overall, these results illustrated SLAMF7 might be a novel cell surface protein associated with t(4;14) MM. It is potential to develop t(4;14) MM targeted therapy by SLAMF7 antibody mediated drug delivery.
SILAC; quantitative proteomics; oncotargets; multiple myeloma
The transcription factor IRF4 is required during an immune response for lymphocyte activation and the generation of immunoglobulin-secreting plasma cells1-3. Multiple myeloma, a malignancy of plasma cells, has a complex molecular etiology with several subgroups defined by gene expression profiling and recurrent chromosomal translocations4,5. Moreover, the malignant clone can sustain multiple oncogenic lesions, accumulating genetic damage as the disease progresses6,7. Current therapies for myeloma can extend survival but are not curative8,9. Hence, new therapeutic strategies are needed that target molecular pathways shared by all subtypes of myeloma. Using a loss-of-function, RNA-interference-based genetic screen we show here that IRF4 inhibition was toxic to myeloma cell lines, regardless of transforming oncogenic mechanism. Gene expression profiling and genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis uncovered an extensive network of IRF4 target genes and identified MYC as a direct target of IRF4 in activated B cells and myeloma. Unexpectedly, IRF4 was itself a direct target of MYC transactivation, generating an autoregulatory circuit in myeloma cells. Though IRF4 is not genetically altered in most myelomas, they are nonetheless addicted to an aberrant IRF4 regulatory network that fuses the gene expression programs of normal plasma cells and activated B cells.
Lenalidomide and bortezomib are active in relapsed and relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma (MM). In preclinical studies, lenalidomide sensitized MM cells to bortezomib and dexamethasone. This phase I, dose-escalation study (ie, NCT00153933) evaluated safety and determined the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) of lenalidomide plus bortezomib in patients with relapsed or with relapsed and refractory MM.
Patients and Methods
Patients received lenalidomide 5, 10, or 15 mg/d on days 1 through 14 and received bortezomib 1.0 or 1.3 mg/m2 on days 1, 4, 8, and 11 of 21-day cycles. Dexamethasone (20mg or 40 mg on days 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11, and 12) was added for progressive disease after two cycles. Primary end points were safety and MTD determination.
Thirty-eight patients were enrolled across six dose cohorts. The MTD was lenalidomide 15 mg/d plus bortezomib 1.0 mg/m2. Dose-limiting toxicities (n = 1 for each) were grade 3 hyponatremia and herpes zoster reactivation and grade 4 neutropenia. The most common treatment-related, grades 3 to 4 toxicities included reversible neutropenia, thrombocytopenia, anemia, and leukopenia. Among 36 response-evaluable patients, 61% (90% CI, 46% to 75%) achieved minimal response or better. Among 18 patients who had dexamethasone added, 83% (90% CI, 62% to 95%) achieved stable disease or better. Median overall survival was 37 months.
Lenalidomide plus bortezomib was well tolerated and showed promising activity with durable responses in patients with relapsed and relapsed/refractory MM, including patients previously treated with lenalidomide, bortezomib, and/or thalidomide. The combination of lenalidomide, bortezomib, and dexamethasone is being investigated in a phase II study in this setting and in newly diagnosed MM.
Multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease despite the introduction of the immunomodulatory drugs (IMiDs) thalidomide and lenalidomide and the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib that have improved the outcome of patients with both newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory disease. However, patients who relapse after treatment with these agents or are refractory to them represent an unmet need and highlight the necessity for the development of novel anti-myeloma agents. Pomalidomide is an IMiD, structurally related to thalidomide, with enhanced antiangiogenic, antineoplastic, and anti-inflammatory properties and exhibiting potent anti-myeloma activity in vitro and in vivo. Pomalidomide has shown remarkable activity in patients who were refractory to both bortezomib and lenalidomide in Phase II and III studies. This paper reviews the chemistry and mechanisms of action of pomalidomide as well as all the available data from clinical trials on pomalidomide use in patients with refractory/relapsed multiple myeloma.
immunomodulatory drugs; cereblon; angiogenesis; lenalidomide; refractory
Lenalidomide with dexamethasone is a standard induction treatment regimen for newly diagnosed myeloma (although a Federal Drug Administration indication is still absent). In the context of the Phase 3 clinical trial E4A03 (lenalidomide plus dexamethasone in low or high doses), we queried whether a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)-based genetic classification into high risk (HR) and standard risk (SR) multiple myeloma (MM) would remain clinically significant. Of 445 E4A03 patients, 126 had FISH analysis; 21 were classified HR with t(4;14), t(14;16), or 17p13 deletions. Median survival follow-up approached 3 years. Patients with FISH data tended to be younger and healthier compared to the rest of the study population and, consequently, had superior overall survival (OS) results. Within the FISH cohort, shorter OS in the HR versus SR group (P=0.004) corresponded to a hazard ratio of 3.48 [95% confidence interval: (1.42–8.53)], an effect also observed in multivariate analysis. Two-year OS rates were 91% for SR MM and 76% for HR MM. There was also evidence of interaction between risk status and treatment (p=0.026). HR patients were less likely to attain good partial response (SR 46% and HR 30%, Odds Ratio=2.0 [0.7–5.6]), but overall response rates were not different. FISH-based risk classification retained prognostic significance in patients receiving lenalidomide-based induction.
myeloma; lenalidomide; dexamethasone; bortezomib; FISH
Fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) are cell surface tyrosine kinases that function in cell proliferation and differentiation. Aberrant FGFR signaling occurs in diverse cancers due to gene amplification, but the associated oncogenic mechanisms are poorly understood. Using a proteomics approach, we identified STAT3 as a receptor binding partner that is mediated by Tyr677 phosphorylation on FGFR. Binding to activated FGFR was essential for subsequent tyrosine phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of STAT3, along with activation of its downstream target genes. Tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 was also dependent upon concomitant FGFR-dependent activity of SRC and JAK kinases. Lastly, tyrosine (but not serine) phosphorylation of STAT3 required amplified FGFR protein expression, generated either by enforced overexpression or as associated with gene amplification in cancer cells. Our findings show that amplified FGFR expression engages the STAT3 pathway, and they suggest therapeutic strategies to attack FGFR-overexpressing cancers.
STAT3; FGF; PHOSPHORYLATION; SRC; JAK; BREAST TUMOUR
Fusion genes are chromosomal aberrations that are found in many cancers and can be used as prognostic markers and drug targets in clinical practice. Fusions can lead to production of oncogenic fusion proteins or to enhanced expression of oncogenes. Several recent studies have reported that some fusion genes can escape microRNA regulation via 3′–untranslated region (3′-UTR) deletion. We performed whole transcriptome sequencing to identify fusion genes in glioma and discovered FGFR3-TACC3 fusions in 4 of 48 glioblastoma samples from patients both of mixed European and of Asian descent, but not in any of 43 low-grade glioma samples tested. The fusion, caused by tandem duplication on 4p16.3, led to the loss of the 3′-UTR of FGFR3, blocking gene regulation of miR-99a and enhancing expression of the fusion gene. The fusion gene was mutually exclusive with EGFR, PDGFR, or MET amplification. Using cultured glioblastoma cells and a mouse xenograft model, we found that fusion protein expression promoted cell proliferation and tumor progression, while WT FGFR3 protein was not tumorigenic, even under forced overexpression. These results demonstrated that the FGFR3-TACC3 gene fusion is expressed in human cancer and generates an oncogenic protein that promotes tumorigenesis in glioblastoma.
The brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is among the most lethal forms of human cancer. Here, we report that a small subset of GBMs (3.1%; 3 of 97 tumors examined) harbors oncogenic chromosomal translocations that fuse in-frame the tyrosine kinase coding domains of fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) genes (FGFR1 or FGFR3) to the transforming acidic coiled-coil (TACC) coding domains of TACC1 or TACC3, respectively. The FGFR-TACC fusion protein displays oncogenic activity when introduced into astrocytes or stereotactically transduced in the mouse brain. The fusion protein, which localizes to mitotic spindle poles, has constitutive kinase activity and induces mitotic and chromosomal segregation defects and triggers aneuploidy. Inhibition of FGFR kinase corrects the aneuploidy, and oral administration of an FGFR inhibitor prolongs survival of mice harboring intracranial FGFR3-TACC3–initiated glioma. FGFR-TACC fusions could potentially identify a subset of GBM patients who would benefit from targeted FGFR kinase inhibition.
Three families are reported who have a translocation involving 4p16.3. Nine subjects are described with the clinical features of the Pitt-Rogers-Danks (PRD) syndrome confirming pre- and postnatal growth failure, microcephaly, severe mental retardation, seizures, and a distinctive facial appearance; a deletion of 4p16.3 was seen in all eight patients studied with fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH). Eleven subjects had a new syndrome with physical overgrowth, heavy facial features, and mild to moderate mental handicap; a duplication of the chromosome region 4p16.3 was found in the four subjects studied. It is suggested that the growth abnormalities in these two families may be explained by a dosage effect of the fibroblast growth factor receptor gene 3 (FGFR3), which is located at 4p16.3, that is, a single dose leads to growth failure and a triple dose to physical overgrowth. We describe the molecular mapping of the translocation breakpoint and define it to within locus D4S43.
To better understand the signaling properties of oncogenic FGFR3, we performed phospho-proteomics studies to identify potential downstream signaling effectors that are tyrosine phosphorylated in hematopoietic cells expressing constitutively activated leukemogenic FGFR3 mutants. We found that FGFR3 directly tyrosine phosphorylates the serine/threonine kinase p90RSK2 at Y529, which consequently regulates RSK2 activation by facilitating inactive ERK binding to RSK2 that is required for ERK-dependent phosphorylation and activation of RSK2. Moreover, inhibition of RSK2 by siRNA or a specific RSK inhibitor fmk effectively induced apoptosis in FGFR3-expressing human t(4;14)-positive myeloma cells. Our findings suggest that FGFR3 mediates hematopoietic transformation by activating RSK2 in a two-step fashion, promoting both the ERK-RSK2 interaction and subsequent phosphorylation of RSK2 by ERK.
In the 21st Century, melphalan-prednisone can no longer be regarded as the standard treatment of multiple myeloma patients not eligible for high-dose melphalan followed by autologous stem cell transplantation. The introduction of thalidomide, lenalidomide and bortezomib has improved the arsenal of therapeutic options in multiple myeloma. Indeed, randomized studies have shown that melphalan-prednisone-thalidomide and melphalan-prednisone-bortezomib are superior to melphalan-prednisone alone. Additionally, other combinations, including lenalidomide are under study. In this review we discuss the role of novel therapies in multiple myeloma in elderly multiple myeloma patients. Important aspects, such as toxicity and the role of prognostic factors, are also addressed.
Translocations involving an MYC gene (c ≫ N ≫L) are very late tumor progression events and provide a paradigm for secondary translocations in multiple myeloma. Using a combination of fluorescent in situ hybridization and comparative genomic hybridization arrays (aCGH), we have identified rearrangements of an MYC gene in 40 of 43 independent myeloma cell lines. A majority of MYC translocations involve an Ig locus (IgH > Ig λ ≫Ig κ), but the breakpoints only infrequently occur near or within switch regions or V(D)J sequences. Surprisingly, about 40% of MYC translocations do not involve an Ig locus. The MYC translocations mostly are nonreciprocal translocations or insertions, often with the involvement of three chromosomes and sometimes with associated duplication, amplification, inversion, and other associated chromosomal abnormalities. High-density aCGH analyses should facilitate the cloning of MYC breakpoints, enabling the determination of their structures and perhaps elucidating how rearrangements not involving an Ig gene cause dysregulation of an MYC gene.