Multiple myeloma is an incurable cancer of antibody-producing plasma cells. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), a cytokine aberrantly expressed in half of myeloma patients, is involved in myeloma pathogenesis by enhancing myeloma growth and invasiveness, and may play a role in myeloma bone disease by inhibiting osteoblastogenesis. In this study, we investigated whether extracellular vesicles (EVs) may play a role in HGF signaling between myeloma cells and osteoblast-like target cells. EVs from the HGF-positive cell line JJN-3 and the HGF-negative cell line INA-6, and from bone marrow plasma and primary human myeloma cells, were isolated using sequential centrifugation techniques and the presence of HGF on the EV-surface was investigated with ELISA. EVs from both cell lines were added to an established bioassay where HGF is known to induce interleukin-11 secretion in osteoblast-like cells. Our results show that HGF was bound to the surface of JJN-3-derived EVs, while INA-6-derived EVs were negative for HGF. Only JJN-3-derived EVs induced IL-11 secretion in osteoblast-like recipient cells. When osteoblast-like cells were preincubated with a specific HGF-receptor (c-Met) inhibitor, no induction of interleukin-11 was observed. Downstream c-Met phosphorylation was demonstrated by immunoblotting. EVs isolated from bone marrow plasma and primary myeloma cells were HGF-positive for a subset of myeloma patients. Taken together, this work shows for the first time that HGF bound on the surface of myeloma-derived EVs can effectuate HGF/c-Met signaling in osteoblast-like cells. Myeloma-derived EVs may play a role in myeloma bone disease by induction of the osteoclast-activating cytokine interleukin-11 in osteoblasts.
Keywords: Extracellular vesicles; Hepatocyte growth factor; Interleukin-11; Multiple myeloma; Osteoblast; c-Met.
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