Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Cancer Ther. 2013 Sep;12(9):1763-73. doi: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-13-0123. Epub 2013 Jul 5.

Synergistic induction of apoptosis in multiple myeloma cells by bortezomib and hypoxia-activated prodrug TH-302, in vivo and in vitro.

Author information

Corresponding Author: Karin Vanderkerken, Department of Hematology and Immunology, Myeloma Center Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103, B-1090 Brussels, Belgium.


Recently, we showed that hypoxia is a critical microenvironmental factor in multiple myeloma, and that the hypoxia-activated prodrug TH-302 selectively targets hypoxic multiple myeloma cells and improves multiple disease parameters in vivo. To explore approaches for sensitizing multiple myeloma cells to TH-302, we evaluated in this study the antitumor effect of TH-302 in combination with the clinically used proteasome inhibitor bortezomib. First, we show that TH-302 and bortezomib synergistically induce apoptosis in multiple myeloma cell lines in vitro. Second, we confirm that this synergism is related to the activation of caspase cascades and is mediated by changes of Bcl-2 family proteins. The combination treatment induces enhanced cleavage of caspase-3/8/9 and PARP, and therefore triggers apoptosis and enhances the cleavage of proapoptotic BH3-only protein BAD and BID as well as the antiapoptotic protein Mcl-1. In particular, TH-302 can abrogate the accumulation of antiapoptotic Mcl-1 induced by bortezomib, and decreases the expression of the prosurvival proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL. Furthermore, we found that the induction of the proapoptotic BH3-only proteins PUMA (p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis) and NOXA is associated with this synergism. In response to the genotoxic and endoplasmic reticulum stresses by TH-302 and bortezomib, the expression of PUMA and NOXA were upregulated in p53-dependent and -independent manners. Finally, in the murine 5T33MMvv model, we showed that the combination of TH-302 and bortezomib can improve multiple disease parameters and significantly prolong the survival of diseased mice. In conclusion, our studies provide a rationale for clinical evaluation of the combination of TH-302 and bortezomib in patients with multiple myeloma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center