Ras oncogene expression and DNA content in plasma cell dyscrasias: A flow cytofluorimetric study

M. Danova, A. Riccardi, G. Ucci, R. Luoni, M. Giordano, G. Mazzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using bivariate flow cytofluorometry, we have determined the nuclear DNA distribution and the expression of the p21 protein (coded by the Ha-ras oncogene) in the bone marrow (BM) cells of five solid tumour patients having histologically normal BM and in those of 57 patients with plasma cell dyscrasia (28 with monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance, MGUS, and 29 with multiple myeloma, MM). All normal and MGUS and 21/29 (72.4%) MM BM had diploid modal DNA content and 8/29 (27.6%) MM BM had both diploid and hyperdiploid cell populations. In normal and MGUS BM, the level of the p21 oncoprotein was low and uniform in all G0/G1, S and G2 cells (median fluorescence values in arbitrary units were 6.1 and 7.5, respectively). The level of p21 was increased both in different aliquots of G0/G1 cells and in the S and G2 cells in diploid MM (median value for G0/G1 cells was 20), and especially in MM with hyperdiploid clones (median value for hyperdiploid cells was 40.5, P <0.005 with respect to normal and MGUS BM and <0.005 with respect to diploid MM BM). The p21 expression was greater in patients with advanced (stage III) than in earlier MM (stages I + II) (P <0.005), and it was directly related to the BMPC infiltration (r = 0.7; P <0.005). Since p21 expression is greater in MM than in both normal and MGUS BM, Ha-ras could be involved in the malignant plasma cell transformation that distinguishes MM from MGUS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)781-785
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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