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Exosome-mediated transfer of lncRUNX2-AS1 from multiple myeloma cells to MSCs contributes to osteogenesis

Oncogenevolume 37pages55085519 (2018) | Download Citation


Multiple myeloma (MM) is characterized by the decreased osteogenic potential of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Communication between cancer cells and cancer stromal cells is a driving factor in tumor progression. Understanding the myeloma–stroma interactions is critical to the development of effective strategies that can reverse bone diseases. Here we identified that bioactive lncRNA RUNX2-AS1 in myeloma cells could be packed into exosomes and transmitted to MSCs, thus repressing the osteogenesis of MSCs. RUNX2-AS1, which arises from the antisense strand of RUNX2, was enriched in MSCs derived from MM patients (MM-MSCs). RUNX2-AS1 was capable of forming an RNA duplex with RUNX2 pre-mRNA at overlapping regions and this duplex transcriptionally repressed RUNX2 expression by reducing the splicing efficiency, resulting in decreased osteogenic potential of MSCs. In vivo mouse models, administered an inhibitor of exosome secretion, GW4869, was found to be effective in preventing bone loss, sustained by both bone formation and anticatabolic activities. Therefore, exosomal lncRNA RUNX2-AS1 may serve as a potential therapeutic target for bone lesions in MM. In summary, our results indicated a key role of exosomal lncRUNX2-AS1 in transferring from MM cells to MSCs in osteogenic differentiation, through a unique exosomal lncRUNX2-AS1/RUNX2 pathway.

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These authors contributed equally: Bingzong Li and Hongxia Xu.


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This work was supported in part by National Natural Science Foundation of China (81673448, 81670191), Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province China (BK 20161218, BK20161223), The Applied Basic Research Programs of Suzhou City (SYS201546), and A Project Funded by the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions.

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Author notes


    1. Department of Haematology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China

      • Bingzong Li
      •  & Yating Hong
    2. Department of Cell Biology, School of Biology & Basic Medical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou, China

      • Hongxia Xu
      • , Huiying Han
      • , Sha Song
      • , Xiaojuan Zhang
      • , Lu Ouyang
      • , Yingchun Qiu
      • , Wenqi Zhou
      •  & Wenzhuo Zhuang
    3. Department of Bioinformatics, School of Biology & Basic Medical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou, China

      • Chen’ao Qian
      •  & Moli Huang


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    Correspondence to Moli Huang or Wenzhuo Zhuang.

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