This study investigated the cytotoxicity and mechanism of action of AS703026, a novel, selective, orally bioavailable MEK1/2 inhibitor, in human multiple myeloma (MM). AS703026 inhibited growth and survival of MM cells and cytokine-induced osteoclast differentiation more potently (9- to 10-fold) than AZD6244. Inhibition of proliferation induced by AS703026 was mediated by G 0-G1 cell cycle arrest and was accompanied by reduction of MAF oncogene expression. AS703026 further induced apoptosis via caspase 3 and Poly ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage in MM cells, both in the presence or absence of bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs). Importantly, AS703026 sensitized MM cells to a broad spectrum of conventional (dexamethasone, melphalan), novel or emerging (lenalidomide, perifosine, bortezomib, rapamycin) anti-MM therapies. Significant tumour growth reduction in AS703026- vs. vehicle-treated mice bearing H929 MM xenograft tumours correlated with downregulated pERK1/2, induced PARP cleavage, and decreased microvessels in vivo. Moreover, AS703026 (<200 nmol/l) was cytotoxic against the majority of tumour cells tested from patients with relapsed and refractory MM (84%), regardless of mutational status of RAS and BRAF genes. Importantly, BMSC-induced viability of MM patient cells was similarly blocked within the same dose range. Our results therefore support clinical evaluation of AS703026, alone or in combination with other anti-MM agents, to improve patient outcome.
- Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs)
- MEK1/2 inhibitor
- Multiple myeloma (MM)
- Novel kinase inhibitor therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas