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Cancer Res. 2000 Dec 1;60(23):6763-70.

The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT kinase pathway in multiple myeloma plasma cells: roles in cytokine-dependent survival and proliferative responses.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, West LA VA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, 90073, USA.


Interleukin 6 (IL-6) and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) induce proliferative and antiapoptotic responses in multiple myeloma (MM) plasma cells. Because these cytokines may activate the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-K)/AKT kinase pathway in other cell types, we investigated the role of PI 3-K/AKT in MM cell responses. IGF-I effectively activated PI 3-K in 8226 and OCI-My5 MM cells, but IL-6 was ineffective. However, IL-6 successfully activated PI 3-K in AF-10 MM cells and IL-6-dependent MH.60 plasmacytoma/hybridoma cells. IGF-I also successfully activated PI 3-K in four of four MM patient specimens, and IL-6 activated PI 3-K in three of four specimens. Inhibition of PI 3-K activity with wortmannin or Ly294002 blocked the antiapoptotic effect of IGF-I and the proliferative effect of IL-6 in the myeloma cell lines. Furthermore, a dominant negative PI 3-K construct, expressed in AF-10 cells by adenoviral infection, also significantly inhibited the IL-6 proliferative response in MM cells. In correlation with activation of PI 3-K, IGF-I also effectively activated the AKT kinase in 8226 and OCI-My5 cells, and IL-6 activated AKT in AF-10 and MH.60 cells. However, although incapable of activating PI 3-K in 8226 and OCI-My5 cells, IL-6 successfully activated AKT in these MM lines, suggesting PI 3-K-independent mechanisms of AKT activation. The prevention of a myeloma cell proliferative response resulting from inhibition of PI 3-K activity was not associated with an inhibition of IL-6-dependent extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation. These results support a role for the PI 3-K/AKT pathway in cytokine-dependent responses in myeloma cells, which is independent of any activation of the ERK pathway.

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