Overexpression of c-Maf is a Frequent Oncogenic Event in Multiple Myeloma that Promotes Proliferation and Pathological Interactions with Bone Marrow Stroma

Cancer Cell. 2004 Feb;5(2):191-9

The oncogene c-maf is translocated in approximately 5%-10% of multiple myelomas. Unexpectedly, we observed c-maf expression in myeloma cell lines lacking c-maf translocations and in 50% of multiple myeloma bone marrow samples. By gene expression profiling, we identified three c-maf target genes: cyclin D2, integrin beta7, and CCR1. c-maf transactivated the cyclin D2 promoter and enhanced myeloma proliferation, whereas dominant inhibition of c-maf blocked tumor formation in immunodeficient mice. c-maf-driven expression of integrin beta7 enhanced myeloma adhesion to bone marrow stroma and increased production of VEGF. We propose that c-maf transforms plasma cells by stimulating cell cycle progression and by altering bone marrow stromal interactions. The frequent overexpression of c-maf in myeloma makes it an attractive target for therapeutic intervention.