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Cancer Cell Int. 2013 Dec 12;13(1):122. doi: 10.1186/1475-2867-13-122.

Establishment of a bortezomib-resistant Chinese human multiple myeloma cell line: MMLAL.

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Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong, Room 419, Block K Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, Hong Kong.



A new human myeloma cell line, MMLAL, was established from the myelomatous pleural effusion of a 73-year-old Chinese patient suffering from symptomatic International stage III IgG/lambda myeloma. After a brief period of complete remission, he developed aggressive systemic relapse complicated by malignant pleural effusion with exclusive plasma cell infiltration. His disease remained chemo-refractory, and died six months after relapse.


Purified mononuclear cells from the pleural effusion of the patient were cultured in the presence of IL-6. Continually growing cells were characterized by morphological, immunophenotypic, cytogenetic, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and TP53 mutation analyses. Cell proliferation was measured and compared with other myeloma cell lines by cell counting at day 3, 6, 9, and 12. Drug resistance against bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor approved as a frontline chemotherapy for eligible myeloma patients, was evaluated and compared with other myeloma cell lines by MTT assay.


Immunophenotypic analysis of the myeloma cells confirmed strong expression of plasma cell markers CD38 and CD138 but not T-cell or natural killer-cell marker CD56. Cytogenetic analysis of the myeloma cells showed a hypodiploid composite karyotype including loss of chromosome 13 and 17 or deletion of the short arm of chromosome 17, i.e. del(17p), in the form of isochromosome 17q10. FISH confirmed a hypodiploid karyotype with TP53 deletion but absence of t(4;14). Sequencing analysis of the TP53 gene indicated absence of mutation. Cell counting revealed that the maximum viable cell density was about 2.5 X 106 cells/ml. Upon bortezomib treatment, MTT assay reported an IC50 of 72.17nM, suggesting a strong bortezomib resistance.


A hypodiploid with loss of chromosome 13 and loss or del(17p) human myeloma cell line, MMLAL, was established from the pleural effusion of a Chinese myeloma patient.

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