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Br J Haematol. 2006 Oct;135(1):26-32. Epub 2006 Aug 25.

JSI-124 (cucurbitacin I) inhibits Janus kinase-3/signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 signalling, downregulates nucleophosmin-anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK), and induces apoptosis in ALK-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma cells.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Cross Cancer Institute, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.


JSI-124 (cucurbitacin I) has been recently described as a specific inhibitor of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3 (STAT3). As STAT3 activation is pathogenetically important in anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALK+ ALCL), we investigated whether JSI-124 can mediate significant inhibitory effects in this cell type. In two ALK+ ALCL cell lines (Karpas 299 and SU-DHL-1), JSI-124 significantly reduced the number of viable cells to 50% of that of negative controls at a dose of 5-10 micromol/l at 24 h and 1-1.25 micromol/l at 48 h. This decrease in viability was associated with apoptosis, as confirmed by the increase in the subG(0/1) fraction, poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase cleavage and expression of active caspase 3. JSI-124 decreased the phosphorylated-STAT3 and -Janus kinase-3 (JAK3) levels in a dose-dependent fashion, and these changes were coupled with significant decreases in several STAT3 downstream targets, including mcl-1, bcl-2, bcl-xL and cyclin D3. Interestingly, JSI-124 also dramatically decreased the protein levels of JAK3 and nucleophosmin (NPM)-ALK, and these effects were reversible by MG132. Our data support that JSI-124 is a potentially useful therapeutic agent for ALK+ ALCL. In addition to its role as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, JSI-124 appears to be involved in regulating proteosome degradation for proteins such as JAK3 and NPM-ALK.

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