Integrated epigenetic and transcriptional single-cell analysis of t(11;14) multiple myeloma and its BCL2 dependency

Blood. 2024 Jan 4;143(1):42-56. doi: 10.1182/blood.2023020276.


The translocation t(11;14) occurs in 20% of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and results in the upregulation of CCND1. Nearly two-thirds of t(11;14) MM cells are BCL2 primed and highly responsive to the oral BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax. Although it is evident that this unique sensitivity to venetoclax depends on the Bcl-2 homology domain 3- proapoptotic protein priming of BCL2, the biology underlying t(11;14) MM dependency on BCL2 is poorly defined. Importantly, the epigenetic regulation of t(11;14) transcriptomes and its impact on gene regulation and clinical response to venetoclax remain elusive. In this study, by integrating assay for transposase-accessible chromatin by sequencing (ATAC-seq) and RNA-seq at the single-cell level in primary MM samples, we have defined the epigenetic regulome and transcriptome associated with t(11;14) MM. A B-cell-like epigenetic signature was enriched in t(11;14) MM, confirming its phylogeny link to B-cell rather than plasma cell biology. Of note, a loss of a B-cell-like epigenetic signature with a gain of canonical plasma cell transcription factors was observed at the time of resistance to venetoclax. In addition, MCL1 and BCL2L1 copy number gains and structural rearrangements were linked to venetoclax resistance in patients with t(11;14) MM. To date, this is the first study in which both single-cell (sc) ATAC-seq and scRNA-seq analysis are integrated into primary MM cells to obtain a deeper resolution of the epigenetic regulome and transcriptome associated with t(11;14) MM biology and venetoclax resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents* / therapeutic use
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic / pharmacology
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic / therapeutic use
  • Epigenesis, Genetic
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma* / drug therapy
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • venetoclax
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic
  • BCL2 protein, human