Jagged ligands enhance the pro-angiogenic activity of multiple myeloma cells

Maria Teresa Palano, Domenica Giannandrea, Natalia Platonova, Germano Gaudenzi, Monica Falleni, Delfina Tosi, Elena Lesma, Valentina Citro, Michela Colombo, Ilaria Saltarella, Roberto Ria, Nicola Amodio, Elisa Taiana, Antonino Neri, Giovanni Vitale, Raffaella Chiaramonte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable plasma cell malignancy arising primarily within the bone marrow (BM). During MM progression, different modifications occur in the tumor cells and BM microenvironment, including the angiogenic shift characterized by the increased capability of endothelial cells to organize a network, migrate and express angiogenic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Here, we studied the functional outcome of the dysregulation of Notch ligands, Jagged1 and Jagged2, occurring during disease progression, on the angiogenic potential of MM cells and BM stromal cells (BMSCs). Jagged1–2 expression was modulated by RNA interference or soluble peptide administration, and the effects on the MM cell lines’ ability to induce human pulmonary artery cells (HPAECs) angiogenesis or to indirectly increase the BMSC angiogenic potential was analyzed in vitro; in vivo validation was performed on a zebrafish model and MM patients’ BM biopsies. Overall, our results indicate that the MM-derived Jagged ligands (1) increase the tumor cell angiogenic potential by directly triggering Notch activation in the HPAECs or stimulating the release of angiogenic factors, i.e., VEGF; and (2) stimulate the BMSCs to promote angiogenesis through VEGF secretion. The observed pro-angiogenic effect of Notch activation in the BM during MM progression provides further evidence of the potential of a therapy targeting the Jagged ligands.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2600
Number of pages18
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


  • Angiogenesis
  • Bone marrow stromal cells
  • Jagged
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Notch
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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