Chromosome 13 abnormalities (Δ13), monosomy or deletion, are seen in greater than 50% in patients with Multiple Myeloma (MM) and are associated with poor survival and reduced response to therapy. Δ13 is suggestive of a tumor suppressor model. In this study, we use a comprehensive, high-throughput approach involving array-based technologies to identify genes on chromosome 13 that are important in the pathogenesis and/or progression of MM. Array-based Comparative Genomic Hybridization (aCGH) is being conducted to identify a minimum region of 13q loss in a series of MM cell lines and patient samples. DNA is isolated, labeled and hybridized with a differentially labeled normal DNA reference to determine gene/genomic copy number changes. Arrays are analyzed to search for the minimum region of loss based upon single copy loss for a series of nearby mapping transcripts in each cell line. Data will be cross-referenced to determine the true minimum region of 13q loss in MM. Also, to discover genes harboring potential inactivating mutations, we are using inhibition of nonsense-mediated RNA decay (NMD) coupled with cDNA microarray. This modification of the Gene Identification by NMD Inhibition (GINI) method, first introduced by Noensie and Dietz (2001), is used to identify genes on chromosome 13 that may be inactivated due to premature truncating codons (PTCs). This method is based upon a cell’s natural ability to survey for and degrade RNA species that contain PTCs by activation of the nonsense mediated RNA decay (NMD) pathway. Treating cells with the drug Emetine can inhibit NMD and increase the expression of genes likely harboring truncating mutations. Preliminary data have revealed several candidate genes, with increased ratios after Emetine treatment, which map to chromosome 13. Upon defining a minimum region of loss based upon aCGH data, we will prioritize genes from our NMD study for mutational analysis. It our hope to also perform an array-based CpG island screen to simultaneously analyze all CpG islands on chromosome 13 to detect genes possibly inactivated by hypermethylation. This comprehensive, organized approach incorporating high-throughput techniques for the detection of genomic loss, mutation, and methylation is the first of its kind to our knowledge and may maximize the potential for the identification of a 13q tumor suppressor in MM.

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