CD147 regulates the expression of MCT1 and lactate export in multiple myeloma cells

Denise K. Walters, Bonnie K. Arendt, Diane F. Jelinek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Increased use of the glycolytic pathway, even in the presence of oxygen, has recently been recognized as a key characteristic of malignant cells. However, the glycolytic phenotype results in increased lactic acid production and, in order to prevent cellular acidosis, tumor cells must increase proton efflux via upregulation of pH regulators such as proton-pumps, sodium-proton exchangers, and/or monocarboxylate transporters (MCT) (e.g., MCT1, MCT4). Interestingly, expression of MCT1 and MCT4 has been previously shown to be dependent upon expression of the transmembrane glycoprotein CD147. Recently, we demonstrated that primary patient multiple myeloma (MM) cells and human MM cell lines (HMCLs) overexpress CD147. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to specifically determine if MCT1 and MCT4 were also overexpressed in MM cells. RT-PCR analysis demonstrated both primary patient MM cells and HMCLs overexpress MCT1 and MCT4 mRNA. Notably, primary MM cells or HMCLs were found to express variable levels of MCT1 and/or MCT4 at the protein level despite CD147 expression. In those HMCLs positive for MCT1 and/or MCT4 protein expression, MCT1 and/or MCT4 were found to be associated with CD147. Specific siRNA-mediated downregulation of MCT1 but not MCT4 resulted in decreased HMCL proliferation, decreased lactate export, and increased cellular media pH. However, western blot analysis revealed that downregulation of MCT1 also downregulated CD147 and vice versa despite no effect on mRNA levels. Taken together, these data demonstrate the association between MCT1 and CD147 proteins in MM cells and importance of their association for lactate export and proliferation in MM cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3364-3372
Number of pages9
JournalCell Cycle
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2013


  • CD147
  • Lactate
  • MCT1
  • MCT4
  • Multiple myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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