Altered energy metabolism and changes in glycolytic and oxidative phosphorylation pathways are hallmarks of all cancer cells. The expression of select genes associated with the production of various enzymes and proteins involved in glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation were assessed in the clonal plasma cells derived from patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma (NDMM) enrolled in the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) CoMMpass data set. A scoring system consisting of assigning a point for every gene where their fragments per kilobase of transcript per million (FPKM) was above the median yielded a minimum of 0 and a maximum of 12 for the set of genes in the glycolytic and oxidative phosphorylation pathways to create a total energy metabolism molecular signature (EMMS) score. This EMMS score was independently associated with worse progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) outcomes of patients with NDMM. A higher EMMS score was more likely to be present in clonal plasma cells derived from Multiple myeloma (MM) patients than those from patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS). This was functionally confirmed by the clonal plasma cells from MM patients having a higher rate of mitochondrial and glycolysis-derived ATP formation than clonal plasma cells from MGUS patients. Thus, this study provides evidence for the effect of energy metabolism within clonal plasma cells on pathogenesis and outcomes of patients with MM. Exploiting the energy-producing metabolic pathways within clonal plasma cells for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in MM should be explored in the future.
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