High-risk multiple myeloma can be correlated with amplification and overexpression of the cell cycle regulator CKS1B. Herein, we used the COMPARE algorithm to correlate high expression of CKS1B mRNA in the NCI-60 cell line panel with the concentration causing 50% growth inhibition (GI50) of >40,000 synthetic compounds. This led to the identification of NSC 338258 (EPED3), a highly stable, hydrophilic derivative of the plant alkaloid ellipticine. In vitro, this synthetic anticancer compound exhibits dramatic cytotoxic activity against myeloma cells grown in suspension or in coculture with stromal cells. EPED3-induced cell cycle arrest and an apoptotic progression that appear to be a consequence of the instantaneous effect of the drug on cytoplasmic organelles, particularly mitochondria. Disruption of mitochondria and cytoplasmic distribution of cytochrome c initiated the intracellular proteolytic cascade through the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. EPED3 is able to induce apoptosis in myeloma cells with de novo or acquired resistance to commonly administered anti-myeloma agents. Collectively, our data suggest that EPED3 targets mitochondrial function to rapidly deplete chemical energy and initiate apoptosis in myeloma cells at nanomolar concentrations while leaving stromal cells unharmed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Drug Discovery