Cx43 expressed on bone marrow stromal cells plays an essential role in multiple myeloma cell survival and drug resistance
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Submission date: 2014-12-18
Final revision date: 2015-01-25
Acceptance date: 2015-01-25
Online publication date: 2016-12-19
Publication date: 2016-12-22
Arch Med Sci 2017;13(1):236–245
Introduction: Connexin-43 (Cx43), a connexin constituent of gap junctions (GJs) is mainly expressed in bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and played a important role on hematopoiesis. In this study, we explored the role of gap junctions (GJs) formed by Cx43 between BMSCs and multiple myeloma (MM) cells.
Material and methods: qPCR and western blot assays were employed to assay Cx43 expression in three MM cell lines (RPMI 8266, U266, and XG7), freshly isolated MM cells, and bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). Cx43 mRNA and proteins were detected in all three MM cell lines and six out of seven freshly isolated MM cells.
Resuths: The BMSCs from MM patients expressed Cx43 at higher levels than of normal donor (ND-BMSCs). Dye transfer assays demonstrated that gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) occurring via Cx43 situated between MM and BMSCs is functional. Cytometry beads array (CBA) assays showed that cytokines production changed when the ND-BMSCs were co-cultured with MM cells, especially the levels of IL-6, SDF-1 and IL-10 were higher than those the cells cultured alone and decreased significantly in the presence of GJ inhibitor heptanol. Our results demonstrated that the cytotoxicity of BTZ to MM cells decreased significantly in the presence of BMSCs, an effect that was partially recovered in the presence of GJ inhibitor.
Conclusions: Our data suggest that GJIC between MM and BMSCs is a critical factor in tumor cell proliferation and drug sensitivity, and is implicated in MM pathogenesis.