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Blood. 2006 Jun 1;107(11):4484-90. Epub 2006 Feb 23.

Oncogenic RAS mutations in myeloma cells selectively induce cox-2 expression, which participates in enhanced adhesion to fibronectin and chemoresistance.

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David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


Oncogenic RAS expression occurs in up to 40% of multiple myeloma (MM) cases and correlates with aggressive disease. Since activated RAS induces cyclooxygenase-2 (cox-2) expression in other tumor models, we tested a role for cox-2 in mutant RAS-containing MM cells. We used the ANBL-6 isogenic MM cell lines in which the IL-6-dependent parental line becomes cytokine independent following transfection with mutated N-RAS or K-RAS. Both mutated N-RAS- and K-RAS-expressing ANBL-6 cells demonstrated a selective up-regulation of cox-2 expression and enhanced secretion of PGE2, a product of cox-2. Furthermore, in 3 primary marrow specimens, which contained MM cells expressing mutated RAS, 15% to 40% of tumor cells were positive for cox-2 expression by immunohistochemistry. We used cox-2 inhibitors, NS398 and celecoxib, and neutralizing anti-PGE2 antibody to test whether cox-2/PGE2 was involved in the aggressive phenotype of MM ANBL-6 cells containing mutated RAS. Although these interventions had no effect on IL-6-independent growth or adhesion to marrow stromal cells, they significantly inhibited the enhanced binding of mutant RAS-containing MM cells to fibronectin and the enhanced resistance to melphalan. These results indicate a selective induction of cox-2 in MM cells containing RAS mutations, which results in heightened binding to extracellular matrix protein and chemotherapeutic drug resistance.

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