The t(4;14)(p16;q32) translocation seen in c. 18% of newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (MM) cases, results in FGFR3 activation and creation of an IGH/MMSET fusion transcript. We have recently shown that FGFR3 is activated in only 75% of t(4;14)(+) cases, suggesting that alternative genes near the breakpoint may be involved in the transforming event. The gene, TACC3, located just 50 kb telomeric of FGFR3, with transforming capacity, therefore represented a candidate gene. Using a real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction-based approach on a cohort of 54 patients, we found a statistically significant, twofold increase in TACC3 expression in t(4;14)(+) cases. TACC3, MMSET and p21 values were positively correlated in all cases and, of particular interest, six patient samples [three t(4;14)(-), three t(4;14)(+)] samples showed a joint up-regulation of TACC3, MMSET and p21. Although a poor prognosis is linked with elevated MMSET expression, an extended follow-up period will be required to evaluate the significance of elevated TACC3 and p21 expression in this subgroup of MM.
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