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      A novel BCMA/CD3 bispecific T-cell engager for the treatment of multiple myeloma induces selective lysis in vitro and in vivo

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      Leukemia

      Springer Nature

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          BCMA Is Essential for the Survival of Long-lived Bone Marrow Plasma Cells

          Long-lived humoral immunity is manifested by the ability of bone marrow plasma cells (PCs) to survive for extended periods of time. Recent studies have underscored the importance of BLyS and APRIL as factors that can support the survival of B lineage lymphocytes. We show that BLyS can sustain PC survival in vitro, and this survival can be further enhanced by interleukin 6. Selective up-regulation of Mcl-1 in PCs by BLyS suggests that this α-apoptotic gene product may play an important role in PC survival. Blockade of BLyS, via transmembrane activator and cyclophilin ligand interactor–immunoglobulin treatment, inhibited PC survival in vitro and in vivo. Heightened expression of B cell maturation antigen (BCMA), and lowered expression of transmembrane activator and cyclophilin ligand interactor and BAFF receptor in PCs relative to resting B cells suggests a vital role of BCMA in PC survival. Affirmation of the importance of BCMA in PC survival was provided by studies in BCMA−/− mice in which the survival of long-lived bone marrow PCs was impaired compared with wild-type controls. These findings offer new insights into the molecular basis for the long-term survival of PCs.
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            BAFF and APRIL protect myeloma cells from apoptosis induced by interleukin 6 deprivation and dexamethasone.

            Identification of growth factors in neoplasias may be a target for future therapies by blocking either growth factor receptor interaction or the induced pathway. Using gene expression profiling, we identified overexpression of 2 receptors for a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) and B-cell activating factor (BAFF) in malignant plasma cells compared with normal plasma cells. APRIL and BAFF are involved in a variety of tumor and autoimmune diseases, including B-cell malignancies. We confirmed the expression of BAFF and APRIL receptors (B-cell maturation antigen [BCMA], transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor [TACI], and BAFF-R) in a majority of 13 myeloma cell lines and in the purified primary myeloma cells of 11 patients. APRIL and BAFF were potent survival factors for exogenous cytokine-dependent myeloma cell lines and were autocrine growth factors for the RPMI8226 and L363 autonomously growing cell lines. These factors activated nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB, phosphatidylinositol-3 (PI-3) kinase/AKT, and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase pathways and induced a strong up-regulation of the Mcl-1 and Bcl-2 antiapoptotic proteins in myeloma cells. BAFF or APRIL was also involved in the survival of primary myeloma cells cultured with their bone-marrow environment, and protected them from dexamethasone (DEX)-induced apoptosis. Finally, the serum levels of BAFF and APRIL were increased about 5-fold in patients with multiple myeloma (MM) as compared with healthy donors. Altogether, these data suggest that APRIL/BAFF inhibitors may be of clinical value in MM.
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              Serum B-cell maturation antigen is elevated in multiple myeloma and correlates with disease status and survival.

              Although TNFRSF17 (also designated as B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)) is expressed on tumour cells in B-cell malignancies, it has not been found in serum. The present study found that BCMA concentrations were higher in the supernatants of cultured bone marrow mononuclear cells from multiple myeloma (MM) patients than in healthy subjects. Serum BCMA levels were measured in samples from MM patients (n = 209), monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) individuals (n = 23) and age-matched controls (n = 40). BCMA was detected in the serum of untreated MM patients (n = 50) and levels were higher than in MGUS patients (P = 0·0157) and healthy subjects (P < 0·0001). Serum BCMA levels were higher among patients with progressive disease (n = 80) compared to those with responsive disease (n = 79; P = 0·0038). Among all MM patients, overall survival was shorter among patients whose serum BCMA levels were above the median (P = 0·001). We also demonstrated that sera from mice with human MM xenografts contained human BCMA, and levels correlated with the change in tumour volume in response to melphalan or cyclophosphamide with bortezomib. These results suggest that serum BCMA levels may be a new biomarker for monitoring disease status and overall survival of MM patients.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Leukemia
                Leukemia
                Springer Nature
                0887-6924
                1476-5551
                December 27 2017
                December 27 2017
                :
                :
                Article
                10.1038/leu.2016.388
                1e3eba80-a7cc-4cc1-bff9-716c8ae63fd2
                © 2017
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