Twist-1 is upregulated by NSD2 and contributes to tumour dissemination and an epithelial-mesenchymal transition-like gene expression signature in t(4;14)-positive multiple myeloma

Chee Man Cheong, Krzysztof M. Mrozik, Duncan R. Hewett, Elyse Bell, Vasilios Panagopoulos, Jacqueline E. Noll, Jonathan D. Licht, Stan Gronthos, Andrew C.W. Zannettino, Kate Vandyke

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Approximately 15% of patients with multiple myeloma (MM) harbour the t(4;14) chromosomal translocation, leading to the overexpression of the histone methyltransferase NSD2. Patients with this translocation display increased tumour dissemination, accelerated disease progression and rapid relapse. Using publicly available gene expression profile data from NSD2high (n = 135) and NSD2low (n = 878) MM patients, we identified 39 epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated genes which are overexpressed in NSD2high MM plasma cells. In addition, our analyses identified Twist-1 as a key transcription factor upregulated in NSD2high MM patients and t(4;14)-positive cell lines. Overexpression and knockdown studies confirmed that Twist-1 is involved in driving the expression of EMT-associated genes in the human MM cell line KMS11 and promoted the migration of myeloma cell lines in vitro. Notably, Twist-1 overexpression in the mouse MM cell line 5TGM1 significantly increased tumour dissemination in an intratibial tumour model. These findings demonstrate that Twist-1, downstream of NSD2, contributes to the induction of an EMT-like signature in t(4;14)-positive MM and enhances the dissemination of MM plasma cells in vivo, which may, in part, explain the aggressive disease features associated with t(4;14)-positive MM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Letters
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 10 Apr 2020


  • Dissemination
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • Multiple myeloma
  • NSD2
  • Twist-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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