CD56 Has a Critical Role in Regulating Multiple Myeloma Cell Growth and Response to Therapies

CD56/NCAM1 is an aberrantly expressed surface antigen present in the plasma cells of up to 70% of patients with multiple myeloma (MM). Although CD56 positivity is known to correlate with greater osteolytic burden and fewer positive prognostic features, its role in MM is not well understood.

Francesca Cottini, MD and colleagues analyzed the percentage of CD56-expressing clonal MM cells in 569 patients diagnosed with MM at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2014.

They found that patients with a higher percentage of CD56-expressing clonal MM cells (more than 30 or 50 percent) had inferior overall survival compared to those with a lower percentage (less than 30 or 50%).

Further analysis revealed that overexpression of CD56 promotes MM growth and viability. In addition, CD56 positive MM cell lines and patients with high CD56 expression were found to be more sensitive to RSK2/CREB1 inhibition.