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Blood. 1999 Mar 1;93(5):1684-96.

Overexpression of the receptor for hyaluronan-mediated motility (RHAMM) characterizes the malignant clone in multiple myeloma: identification of three distinct RHAMM variants.

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1
Departments of Oncology and Medicine, University of Alberta and the Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Canada.

Abstract

The receptor for hyaluronan (HA)-mediated motility (RHAMM) controls motility by malignant cells in myeloma and is abnormally expressed on the surface of most malignant B and plasma cells in blood or bone marrow (BM) of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). RHAMM cDNA was cloned and sequenced from the malignant B and plasma cells comprising the myeloma B lineage hierarchy. Three distinct RHAMM gene products, RHAMMFL, RHAMM-48, and RHAMM-147, were cloned from MM B and plasma cells. RHAMMFL was 99% homologous to the published sequence of RHAMM. RHAMM-48 and RHAMM-147 variants align with RHAMMFL, but are characterized by sequence deletions of 48 bp (16 amino acids [aa]) and 147 bp (49 aa), respectively. The relative frequency of these RHAMM transcripts in MM plasma cells was determined by cloning of reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) products amplified from MM plasma cells. Of 115 randomly picked clones, 49% were RHAMMFL, 47% were RHAMM-48, and 4% were RHAMM-147. All of the detected RHAMM variants contain exon 4, which is alternatively spliced in murine RHAMM, and had only a single copy of the exon 8 repeat sequence detected in murine RHAMM. RT-PCR analysis of sorted blood or BM cells from 22 MM patients showed that overexpression of RHAMM variants is characteristic of MM B cells and BM plasma cells in all patients tested. RHAMM also appeared to be overexpressed in B lymphoma and B-chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cells. In B cells from normal donors, RHAMMFL was only weakly detectable in resting B cells from five of eight normal donors or in chronically activated B cells from three patients with Crohn's disease. RHAMM-48 was detectable in B cells from one of eight normal donors, but was undetectable in B cells of three donors with Crohn's disease. RHAMM-147 was undetectable in normal and Crohn's disease B cells. In situ RT-PCR was used to determine the number of individual cells with aggregate RHAMM transcripts. For six patients, 29% of BM plasma cells and 12% of MM B cells had detectable RHAMM transcripts, while for five normal donors, only 1. 2% of B cells expressed RHAMM transcripts. This work suggests that RHAMMFL, RHAMM-48, and RHAMM-147 splice variants are overexpressed in MM and other B lymphocyte malignancies relative to resting or in vivo-activated B cells, raising the possibility that RHAMM and its variants may contribute to the malignant process in B-cell malignancies such as lymphoma, CLL, and MM.

PMID:
10029598
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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