Blood 2011 Jun 7;117(23):6202-13. Epub 2011 Apr 7.
Division of Hematology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
Integrin-β7 (ITGB7) mRNA is detected in multiple myeloma (MM) cells and its presence is correlated with MAF gene activation. Although the involvement of several integrin family members in MM-stoma cell interaction is well documented, the specific biologic functions regulated by integrin-β7 in MM are largely unknown. Clinically, we have correlated integrin-β7 expression in MM with poor survival outcomes post autologous stem cell transplantation and postsalvage therapy with bortezomib. Functionally, we have found that shRNA-mediated silencing of ITGB7 reduces MM-cell adhesion to extra-cellular matrix elements (fibronectin, E-cadherin) and reverses cell-adhesion-mediated drug resistance (CAM-DR) sensitizing them to bortezomib and melphalan. In addition, ITGB7 silencing abrogated MM-cell transwell migration in response to SDF1α gradients, reduced vessel density in xenografted tumors, and altered MM cells in vivo homing into the BM. Mechanistically, ITGB7 knockdown inhibited focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Src phosphorylation, Rac1 activation, and SUMOylation, reduced VEGF production in MM-BM stem cell cocultures and attenuated p65-NF-κB activity. Our findings support a role for integrin-β7 in MM-cell adhesion, migration, and BM homing, and pave the way for a novel therapeutic approach targeting this molecule.