The molecular target(s) cooperating with proteasome inhibition in multiple myeloma (MM) remain unknown. We therefore measured proliferation in MM cells transfected with 13 984 small interfering RNAs in the absence or presence of increasing concentrations of bortezomib. We identified 37 genes, which when silenced, are not directly cytotoxic but do synergistically potentiate the growth inhibitory effects of bortezomib. To focus on bortezomib sensitizers, genes that also sensitized MM to melphalan were excluded. Whensuppressed, the strongest bortezomib sensitizers were the proteasome subunits PSMA5, PSMB2, PSMB3, and PSMB7 providing internal validation, but others included BAZ1B, CDK5, CDC42SE2, MDM4, NME7, RAB8B, TFE3, TNFAIP3, TNK1, TOP1, VAMP2, and YY1. The strongest hit CDK5 also featured prominently in pathway analysis of primary screen data. Cyclindependent kinase 5 (CDK5) is expressed at high levels in MM and neural tissues with relatively low expression in other organs. Viral shRNA knockdown of CDK5 consistently sensitized 5 genetically variable MM cell lines to proteasome inhibitors (bortezomib and carfilzomib). Small-molecule CDK5 inhibitors were demonstrated to synergize with bortezomib to induce cytotoxicity of primary myeloma cells and myeloma cell lines. CDK5 regulation of proteasome subunit PSMB5 was identified as a probable route to sensitization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology