Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is a cytokine that regulates the proliferation of some tumor cells including multiple myeloma (MM). Ectopic expression of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR 3) associated with the chromosomal translocation, t(4;14)(p16.3;q32), is frequently found in MM, and therefore, has been implicated in the neoplastic transformation of this disease. Here, we show that IL-6 together with FGF enhanced proliferation of a myeloma cell line, KMS-11 carrying t(4;14)(p16.3;q32) and the FGFR 3-transfected U 266 myeloma cell line which ectopically expressed FGFR 3 but responded to neither IL-6 nor FGF alone. In KMS-11, IL-6 activated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT 3) while FGF activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK 1/2) and phosphatidylinositol (PI)-3 kinase. As both MEK inhibitors and a PI 3-kinase inhibitor abolished the effect of IL-6 and FGF, the activation of both the ERK 1/2 and PI 3-kinase signaling cascades is essential for the proliferation of KMS-11 enhanced by IL-6 and FGF. Furthermore, the FGF-induced activation of ERK 1/2 contributed to the serine phosphorylation of STAT 3, suggesting that the signaling crosstalk between the cytokine receptor, IL-6 receptor alpha/gp 130 and the growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase, FGFR 3. These results indicate that FGFR 3 plays a crucial role in the accelerated proliferation of MM carrying t(4;14)(p16.3;q32).
Oncogene (2005) 24, 6328-6332.