This study investigates the role of ephrin receptor A3 (EphA3) in the angiogenesis of Multiple Myeloma (MM) and the effects of a selective target of EphA3 by a specific monoclonal antibody on primary bone marrow endothelial cells (ECs) of MM patients.EphA3 mRNA and protein were evaluated in ECs of MM patients (MMECs), in ECs of patients with monoclonal gammopathies of undetermined significance (MGECs) and in ECs of healthy subjects (control ECs). The effects of EphA3 targeting by mRNA silencing (siRNA) or by the anti EphA3 antibody on the angiogenesis were evaluated. We found that EphA3 is highly expressed in MMECs compared to the other EC types. Loss of function of EphA3 by siRNA significantly inhibited the ability of MMECs to adhere to fibronectin, to migrate and to form tube like structures in vitro, without affecting cell proliferation or viability. In addition, gene expression profiling showed that knockdown of EphA3 down modulated some molecules that regulate adhesion, migration and invasion processes. Interestingly, EphA3 targeting by an anti EphA3 antibody reduced all the MMEC angiogenesis-related functions in vitro. In conclusion, our findings suggest that EphA3 plays an important role in MM angiogenesis.
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