Myeloma–bone interaction: A vicious cycle via tak1–pim2 signaling

Takeshi Harada, Masahiro Hiasa, Jumpei Teramachi, Masahiro Abe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Multiple myeloma (MM) has a propensity to develop preferentially in bone and form bonedestructive lesions. MM cells enhance osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption through activation of the RANKL–NF-κB signaling pathway while suppressing bone formation by inhibiting osteoblastogenesis from bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) by factors elaborated in the bone marrow and bone in MM, including the soluble Wnt inhibitors DKK-1 and sclerostin, activin A, and TGF-β, resulting in systemic bone destruction with loss of bone. Osteocytes have been drawn attention as multifunctional regulators in bone metabolism. MM cells induce apoptosis in osteocytes to trigger the production of factors, including RANKL, sclerostin, and DKK-1, to further exacerbate bone destruction. Bone lesions developed in MM, in turn, provide microenvironments suited for MM cell growth/survival, including niches to foster MM cells and their precursors. Thus, MM cells alter the microenvironments through bone destruction in the bone where they reside, which in turn potentiates tumor growth and survival, thereby generating a vicious loop between tumor progression and bone destruction. The serine/threonine kinases PIM2 and TAK1, an upstream mediator of PIM2, are overexpressed in bone marrow stromal cells and osteoclasts as well in MM cells in bone lesions. Upregulation of the TAK1–PIM2 pathway plays a critical role in tumor expansion and bone destruction, posing the TAK1–PIM2 pathway as a pivotal therapeutic target in MM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4441
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021


  • Bone microenvironment
  • Bone remodeling
  • Multiple myeloma
  • PIM2
  • TAK1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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