Extensive inter-individual variation in response to chemotherapy (sensitive vs resistant tumors) is a serious cause of concern in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). In this study, we used human myeloma cell lines (HMCLs), and patient-derived CD138+ cells to compare kinetic changes in gene expression patterns between innate proteasome inhibitor (PI)-sensitive and PI-resistant HMCLs following test dosing with the second-generation PI Ixazomib. We found 1553 genes that changed significantly post treatment in PI-sensitive HMCLs compared with only seven in PI-resistant HMCLs (p < 0.05). Genes that were uniquely regulated in PI-resistant lines were RICTOR (activated), HNF4A, miR-16-5p (activated), MYCN (inhibited), and MYC (inhibited). Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) using top kinetic response genes identified the proteasome ubiquitination pathway (PUP), and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2)-mediated oxidative stress response as top canonical pathways in Ix-sensitive cell lines and patient-derived cells, whereas EIF2 signaling and mTOR signaling pathways were unique to PI resistance. Further, 10 genes were common between our in vitro and ex vivo post-treatment kinetic PI response profiles and Shaughnessy’s GEP80-postBz gene expression signature, including the high-risk PUP gene PSMD4. Notably, we found that heat shock proteins and PUP pathway genes showed significant higher upregulation in Ix-sensitive lines compared with the fold-change in Ix-resistant myelomas.
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