We assessed the expression pattern and clinical relevance of BMPs and related molecules in multiple myeloma (MM). MM bone-marrow samples (n=32) had increased BMP4, BMP6, ACVR1 and ACVR2A, and decreased NOG expression compared with controls (n=15), with BMP6 having the highest sensitivity/specificity. Within MM bone-marrow, the source of BMPs was mainly CD138(+) plasma-cell population, and BMP6 and ACVR1 expression correlated with plasma-cell percentage. Using myeloma cell lines NCI H929 and Thiel we showed that BMPs induced ID1, ID2 and IL6, and suppressed CDKN1A and BAX gene expression, and BAX protein expression. Finally, BMPs partially protected myeloma cells from bortezomib- and TRAIL-induced apoptosis. We concluded that BMPs may be involved in MM pathophysiology and serve as myeloma cell biomarkers.
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