Cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors have the potential to induce cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in cancer cells. Selictclib (CYC202 or R-roscovitine) is a potent CDK inhibitor currently undergoing phase-2 clinical testing in lung and B-cell malignancies. Here we studied the in vitro cytotoxic activity of seliciclib against multiple myeloma (MM) cells. Our data demonstrate that seliciclib has potent cytotoxicity against MM cells that are both sensitive and resistant to conventional therapy as well as primary MM cells from patients. Cell-cycle and Western blot analysis confirmed apoptosis. Importantly, seliciclib triggered a rapid down-regulation of Mcl-1 transcription and protein expression independent of caspase cleavage. Adherence of MM cells to bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) induced increased Mcl-1 expression associated with signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation, which was inhibited in a time- and dose-dependent manner by seliciclib. Furthermore, seliciclib inhibited interleukin 6 (IL-6) transcription and secretion triggered by tumor cell binding to BMSCs. Up-regulation of Mcl-1 expression in cocultures was only partially blocked by neutralizing antibody to IL-6, suggesting alternative mechanisms of Mcl-1 modulation by seliciclib. Finally, combination studies of seliciclib with doxorubicin and bortezomib show in vitro synergism, providing the rationale for testing these drug combinations to improve patient outcome in MM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology