Mori T, Verma R, Nakamoto-Matsubara R, Siu KT, Panaroni C, Fulzele KS, Mukaihara K, Onyewadume C, Maebius A, Kato H, Wong LP, Sadreyev RI, Scadden DT, Raje NS. 2021. Low NCOR2 levels in multiple myeloma patients drive multidrug resistance via MYC upregulation. Blood cancer journal. 11(12):194. Pubmed: 34864816 DOI:10.1038/s41408-021-00589-y


MYC upregulation is associated with multidrug refractory disease in patients with multiple myeloma (MM). We, isolated patient-derived MM cells with high MYC expression and discovered that NCOR2 was down-regulated in these cells. NCOR2 is a transcriptional coregulatory protein and its role in MM remains unknown. To define the role of NCOR2 in MM, we created NCOR2 knockout human myeloma cell lines and demonstrated that NCOR2 knockout led to high MYC expression. Furthermore, NCOR2 knockout conferred resistance to pomalidomide, BET and HDAC inhibitors, independent of Cereblon (CRBN), indicating high MYC expression as a cause of multidrug resistance. Moreover, NCOR2 interacted with the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase (NuRD) complex and repressed the expression of CD180 by directly binding to its promoter and inducing MYC expression. Next, we generated lenalidomide-resistant and pomalidomide-resistant human myeloma cell lines. Whole-exome sequencing revealed that these cell lines acquired the same exonic mutations of NCOR2. These cell lines showed NCOR2 downregulation and MYC upregulation independent of CRBN and demonstrated resistance to BET and HDAC inhibitors. Our findings reveal a novel CRBN independent molecular mechanism associated with drug resistance. Low NCOR2 expression can serve as a potential biomarker for drug resistance and needs further validation in larger prospective studies.
© 2021. The Author(s).

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David Scadden’s laboratory is dedicated to discovering the principles governing blood cell production, with the ultimate goal of guiding the development of therapies for blood disorders and cancer.

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