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Leukemia. 2004 Mar;18(3):628-35.

Downmodulation of ERK protein kinase activity inhibits VEGF secretion by human myeloma cells and myeloma-induced angiogenesis.

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Chair of Hematology, BMT Unit, University of Parma, Italy.


The mitogen-activated protein (MAP) cascade leading to the activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) is critical for regulating myeloma cell growth; however, the relationship of ERK1/2 activity with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production and the effects of its downmodulation in myeloma cells are not elucidated. We found that the treatment with MAP/ERK kinase 1 (MEK1) inhibitors PD98059 or PD184352 produced a reduction of phosphorylated ERK1/2 (p-ERK1/2) levels in myeloma cells of more than 80% and prevented the increase of p-ERK1/2 induced by interleukin-6 (IL-6). MEK1 inhibitors also induced a significant inhibition of myeloma cell proliferation and blunted the stimulatory effect induced by IL-6. A significant inhibition of basal VEGF secretion by myeloma cells as well as a suppression of the stimulatory effect of IL-6 on VEGF was observed by either PD98059 or PD184352. Moreover, we also found that the PI3K kinase inhibitors, but not p38 MAPK inhibitors, reduced VEGF secretion by myeloma cells and increase the inhibitory effect of MEK1 inhibitors. In an 'in vitro' model of angiogenesis, we found that MEK1 inhibitors impair vessel formation induced by myeloma cells and restored by VEGF treatment, suggesting that the downmodulation of ERK1/2 activity reduces myeloma-induced angiogenesis by inhibiting VEGF secretion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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