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Epigenetic silencing of LPP/miR-28 in multiple myeloma
  1. Zhenhai Li1,
  2. Kwan Yeung Wong1,
  3. Godfrey Chi-fung Chan2,
  4. Chor Sang Chim1
  1. 1Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
  1. Correspondence to Professor Chor Sang Chim, Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong; jcschim{at}


Aims miR-28-5- is a tumour suppressor microRNA implicated in cancers. As a CpG island is absent in miR-28-5- but present in its host gene, LPP (LIM domain containing preferred translocation partner in lipoma), we hypothesized that miR-28-5p is epigenetically silenced by promoter DNA methylation of its host gene in multiple myeloma.

Methods Methylation-specific PCR, verified by quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing, was employed to study methylation of LPP/miR-28 in healthy controls (n=10), human myeloma cell lines (HMCLs) (n=15), and primary myeloma marrow samples at diagnosis (n=49) and at relapse (n=18). Quantitative reverse transcription PCR was used to investigate expression of miR-28-5p, LPP and CCND1.

Results LPP/miR-28 was completely unmethylated in all healthy controls and 12 (80%) HMCLs, but partially methylated in three (20%) HMCLs. Methylation of LPP/miR-28 correlated with low expression of miR-285p (p=0.012) and LPP (p=0.037) in HMCLs. In RPMI-8226R cells, in which LPP/miR-28 was partially methylated, 5-AzadC treatment led to demethylation of LPP/miR-28 and re-expression of both miR-28-5p (p=0.0007) and LPP (p=0.0007), whereas continuous culture without 5-AzadC restored LPP/miR-28 methylation and reduced expression of both miR-28-5p (p=0.0013) and LPP (p=0.0025). Moreover, a known miR-28-5p target, CCND1, was expressed at higher levels in HMCLs with LPP/miR-28 methylation than those without, consistent with a tumour suppressor role of miR-28-5p in myeloma. However, in primary samples, LPP/miR-28 was methylated in two (4.1%) at diagnosis, whereas none at relapse.

Conclusions This is the first report of epigenetic regulation of the intronic miR-28-5p expression by promoter DNA methylation of its host gene, hence warrants further study in different cancers.

  • Myeloma
  • Haematology
  • Molecular Genetics
  • Tumour Biology

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  • Handling editor Mary Frances McMullin.

  • Contributors ZL carried out the experiments. KYW, ZL and CSC drafted the manuscript. KYW and CSC conceived of the study. All authors participated in the design of the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by Hong Kong Blood Cancer Foundation and NSFC (81470369) awarded to CSC.

  • Disclaimer The funders had no role in the design of the study and collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and in writing the manuscript.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Institutional Review Board of Queen Mary Hospital.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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