The effects of combined exposure to the checkpoint abrogator UCN-01 and pharmacologic MEK1/2 inhibitors were examined in human multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines. Treatment of RPMI8226, NCI-H929, and U266 MM cells with a minimally toxic concentration of UCN-01 (150 nM) for 24 hours resulted in mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation, an effect that was blocked by coadministration of the MEK1/2 inhibitor PD184352. These events were accompanied by enhanced activation of p34cdc2 and a marked increase in mitochondrial damage (loss of ΔΨm; cytochrome c and Smac/DIABLO (direct lAP binding protein with low pl) release), poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage, and apoptosis. PD184352/UCN-01 also dramatically reduced clonogenic survival in each of the MM cell lines. In contrast to As2O3, apoptosis induced by PD184352/UCN-01 was not blocked by the free-radical scavenger N-acetyl-L-cysteine. Whereas exogenous interleukin 6 substantially prevented dexamethasone-induced lethality in MM cells, it was unable to protect them from PD184352/UCN-01-induced apoptosis despite enhancing Akt activation. Insulin-like growth factor 1 (lGF-1) also failed to diminish apoptosis induced by this drug regimen. MM cell lines selected for a high degree of resistance to doxorubicin, melphalan, or dexamethasone, or displaying resistance secondary to fibronectin-mediated adherence, remained fully sensitive to PD184352/UCN-01-induced cell death. Finally, primary CD138+ MM cells were also susceptible to UCN-01/MEK inhibitor-mediated apoptosis. Together, these findings suggest that simultaneous disruption of cell cycle and MEK/MAP kinase signaling pathways provides a potent stimulus for mitochondrial damage and apoptosis in MM cells, and also indicate that this strategy bypasses the block to cell death conferred by several other well-described resistance mechanisms.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology