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Cancer Cell. 2007 Apr;11(4):349-60.

The differentiation and stress response factor XBP-1 drives multiple myeloma pathogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Multiple myeloma (MM) evolves from a highly prevalent premalignant condition termed MGUS. The factors underlying the malignant transformation of MGUS are unknown. We report a MGUS/MM phenotype in transgenic mice with Emu-directed expression of the XBP-1 spliced isoform (XBP-1s), a factor governing unfolded protein/ER stress response and plasma-cell development. Emu-XBP-1s elicited elevated serum Ig and skin alterations. With age, Emu-xbp-1s transgenics develop features diagnostic of human MM, including bone lytic lesions and subendothelial Ig deposition. Furthermore, transcriptional profiles of Emu-xbp-1s lymphoid and MM cells show aberrant expression of known human MM dysregulated genes. The similarities of this model with the human disease, coupled with documented frequent XBP-1s overexpression in human MM, serve to implicate XBP-1s dysregulation in MM pathogenesis.

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