Loss of CYLD expression unleashes Wnt signaling in multiple myeloma and is associated with aggressive disease
Deletion or mutation of the gene encoding the deubiquitinating enzyme CYLD is a common genomic aberration in multiple myeloma (MM). However, the functional consequence of CYLD loss and the mechanism underlying its putative role as a tumor suppressor gene in the pathogenesis of MM has not been established. Here, we show that CYLD expression is highly variable in myeloma cell lines and primary MMs and that low CYLD expression is associated with disease progression from monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance to MM, and with poor overall and progression free-survival of MM patients. Functional assays revealed that CYLD represses MM cell proliferation and survival. Furthermore, CYLD acts as a negative regulator of NF-κB and Wnt/β-catenin signaling and loss of CYLD sensitizes MM cells to NF-κB-stimuli and Wnt ligands. Interestingly, in primary MMs, low CYLD expression strongly correlated with a proliferative and Wnt signaling-gene expression signature, but not with an NFκB target gene signature. Altogether, our findings identify CYLD as a negative regulator of NF-κB and Wnt/β-catenin signaling in MM and indicate that loss of CYLD enhances MM aggressiveness through Wnt pathway activation. Thus, targeting the Wnt pathway could be a promising therapeutic strategy in MM with loss of CYLD activity.