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Br J Haematol. 2002 Sep;118(4):1034-40.

Methylation is an inactivating mechanism of the p16 gene in multiple myeloma associated with high plasma cell proliferation and short survival.

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Servicio de Hematología, Hospital Universitario de Salamanca, Spain.


In order to gain further insights into the role of the p16 gene in cell cycle regulation and the prognostic implications of its inactivation, we investigated the methylation status of the p16 gene in 98 untreated patients using a polymerase chain reaction assay based on the inability of some restriction enzymes to digest methylated sequences. Forty-one patients showed a p16 methylated gene (42%). The percentage of S-phase plasma cells (PC) in these patients was almost three times higher than in those with an unmethylated p16 gene (4.16% +/- 3.37%vs 1.5% +/- 1.41%, P < 0.001). The presence of p16 methylation also correlated with both elevated beta2-microglobulin serum levels and high C-reactive protein values. Patients with a p16 methylated gene had shorter overall and progression-free survival than those patients without p16 methylation. However, this feature did not retain independent prognostic influence on multivariate analysis, probably due to its association with the S-phase PC, which had more potent statistical significance in the Cox model. These findings showed methylation of the p16 gene was a frequent event inMM patients at diagnosis, and was associated with an increased proliferative rate of plasma cells and a poor prognosis, indicating an important role for p16 gene in the cell cycle regulation of multiple myeloma tumour cells, and thus in the clinical outcome of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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