Blood Journal
Leading the way in experimental and clinical research in hematology

Correlated flow cytometric analysis of H-ras p21 and nuclear DNA in multiple myeloma

  1. H Tsuchiya,
  2. J Epstein,
  3. P Selvanayagam,
  4. JR Dedman,
  5. G Gallick,
  6. R Alexanian, and
  7. B Barlogie
  1. University of Texas System Cancer Center, M.D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute, Department of Hematology, Houston 77030.


Correlated analysis of the H-ras oncogenes product (p21) and of nuclear DNA content was performed by flow cytometry (FCM) in patients with DNA- aneuploid multiple myeloma (MM). Bone marrow cells from normal donors and MM patients in remission served as controls. Seventy-four percent of 23 patients with active MM had higher p21 fluorescence in aneuploid tumor cells than were observed in normal donor or myeloma remission bone marrows; 39% of the 23 patients also showed high H-ras p21 expression in diploid cells. There was an inverse relationship between p21 levels and the presence of trisomy 11; especially high p21 levels were noted in patient without trisomy 11. The frequent elevation of p21 protein in aneuploid plasma cells suggests the involvement of the H-ras oncogene in the pathophysiology of MM, which is further supported by a shorter survival among patients with high p21 levels.