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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 May 19;258(3):583-91.

Molecular cloning and characterization of a surface antigen preferentially overexpressed on multiple myeloma cells.

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  • 1Chugai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Fuji-Gotemba Research Labs., 1-135 Komakado, Gotemba-shi, Shizuoka, 412-8513, Japan.


HM1.24 antigen has been identified as a surface molecule preferentially expressed on terminally differentiated B cells, and its overexpression is observed in multiple myeloma cells. The HM1.24 antigen is, therefore, expected as a most potent target molecule for antibody-based immunotherapy for multiple myeloma. Here, we have identified the cDNA for human HM1.24 antigen and also analyzed its gene structure including the promoter region. The HM1.24 antigen is a type II membrane glycoprotein, which has been reported as a bone marrow stromal cell surface antigen BST2, and may exist as a homodimer on myeloma cell surface. Although a reason for the overexpression in myeloma cells is not understood, very interestingly, the promoter region of the HM1.24 gene has a tandem repeat of three cis elements for a transcription factor, STAT3, which mediates interleukin-6 (IL-6) response gene expression. Since IL-6 is a differentiation factor for B cells, and known as a paracrine/autocrine growth factor for multiple myeloma cells, the expression of HM1.24 antigen may be regulated by the activation of STAT3. Importantly, a humanized anti-HM1.24 antibody effectively lysed the CHO transformants which expressed HM1.24 antigen as high as human multiple myeloma cells, but not the cells with lower antigen expression. This evaluation shows that ADCC heavily depends on the expression level of target antigens and, therefore, the immunotherapy targeting the HM1.24 antigen should have a promising potential in clinical use.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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