Targeting of CD38 by the tumor suppressor miR-26a serves as a novel potential therapeutic agent in multiple myeloma

Yi Hu, Huimin Liu, Chuanfeng Fang, Chen Li, Fjorela Xhyliu, Hayley Dysert, Juraj Bodo, Gabriel Habermehl, Benjamin E. Russell, Wenjun Li, Marcia Chappell, Xiaofeng Jiang, Sarah L. Ondrejka, Eric D. Hsi, Jaroslaw P. Maciejewski, Qing Yi, Kenneth C. Anderson, Nikhil C. Munshi, Geyou Ao, Jason N. ValentJianhong Lin, Jianjun Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Multiple myeloma is an incurable refractory hematologic malignancy arising from plasma cells in the bone marrow. Here we investigated miR-26a function in multiple myeloma and tested single-wall carbon nanotube delivery of miR-26a in vitro and in vivo. miR-26a was downregulated in patients with multiple myeloma cells compared with plasma cells from healthy donors. miR-26a overexpression inhibited proliferation and migration and induced apoptosis in multiple myeloma cell lines. To identify the targets of miR-26a, RPMI8226-V-miR-26-GFP and RPMI8226- V-GFP cells were cultured using stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) medium, followed by mass spectrometry analysis. In multiple myeloma cells overexpressing miR-26a, CD38 protein was downregulated and subsequently confirmed to be a direct target of miR-26a. Depletion of CD38 in multiple myeloma cells duplicated the multiple myeloma inhibition observed with exogenous expression of miR-26a, whereas restoration of CD38 overcame the inhibition of miR-26a in multiple myeloma cells. In a human multiple myeloma xenograft mouse model, overexpression of miR-26a inhibited CD38 expression, provoked cell apoptosis, and inhibited cell proliferation. Daratumumab is the first CD38 antibody drug for monotherapy and combination therapy for patients with multiple myeloma, but eventually resistance develops. In multiple myeloma cells, CD38 remained at low level during daratumumab treatment, but a high-quality response is sustained. In daratumumab-resistant multiple myeloma cells, CD38 expression was completely restored but failed to correlate with daratumumab-induced cell death. Therefore, a therapeutic strategy to confer selection pressure to maintain low CD38 expression in multiple myeloma cells may have clinical benefit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2031-2044
Number of pages14
JournalCancer research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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