Multiple myeloma (MM), the second most common hematopoietic malignancy, remains an incurable plasma cell (PC) neoplasm. While the proteasome inhibitor, bortezomib (Bz) has increased patient survival, resistance represents a major treatment obstacle as most patients ultimately relapse becoming refractory to additional Bz therapy. Current tests fail to detect emerging resistance; by the time patients acquire resistance, their prognosis is often poor. To establish immunophenotypic signatures that predict Bz sensitivity, we utilized Bz-sensitive and -resistant cell lines derived from tumors of the Bcl-X(L)/Myc mouse model of PC malignancy. We identified significantly reduced expression of two markers (CD93, CD69) in "acquired" (Bz-selected) resistant cells. Using this phenotypic signature, we isolated a subpopulation of cells from a drug-naïve, Bz-sensitive culture that displayed "innate" resistance to Bz. Although these genes were identified as biomarkers, they may indicate a mechanism for Bz-resistance through the loss of PC maturation which may be induced and/or selected by Bz. Significantly, induction of PC maturation in both "acquired" and "innate" resistant cells restored Bz sensitivity suggesting a novel therapeutic approach for reversing Bz resistance in refractory MM.