• Detection of N-Ras codon 61 mutations in subpopulations of tumor cells in multiple myeloma at presentation.

      Kalakonda, Nagesh; Rothwell, Dominic G; Scarffe, J Howard; Norton, John D; CRC Gene Regulation Group, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, and CRC Department of Medical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Trust, Manchester, United Kingdom. (2001-09-01)
      Activating point mutations in codons 12, 13, or 61 of the K-ras and N-ras genes have been reported to occur in up to 40% of patients with multiple myeloma at presentation. In a study of 34 presentation myeloma cases using a sensitive polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism strategy on enriched tumor cell populations, the present study detected N-ras codon 61 mutation-positive cells in all patients. Quantitative plaque hybridization using allele-specific oligonucleotide probes showed that in the majority of patients, ras mutation-positive cells comprise only a subpopulation of the total malignant plasma cell compartment (range, 12%-100%). Using clonospecific point mutations in the 5' untranslated region of the BCL6 gene to quantitate clonal B cells in FACS-sorted bone marrow populations from 2 patients, the representation of ras mutation-positive cells was independent of immunophenotype. These observations imply that mutational activation of N-ras codon 61 is a mandatory event in the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma; such mutations provide a marker of intraclonal heterogeneity that may originate at an earlier ontologic stage than immunophenotypic diversification of the malignant B cell clone.