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5-Azacytidine, a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, induces ATR-mediated DNA double-strand break responses, apoptosis, and synergistic cytotoxicity with doxorubicin and bortezomib against multiple myeloma cells

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (Impact Factor: 6.11). 07/2007; 6(6):1718-27. DOI: 10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-07-0010
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In this study, we investigated the cytotoxicity of 5-azacytidine, a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, against multiple myeloma (MM) cells, and characterized DNA damage-related mechanisms of cell death. 5-Azacytidine showed significant cytotoxicity against both conventional therapy-sensitive and therapy-resistant MM cell lines, as well as multidrug-resistant patient-derived MM cells, with IC(50) of approximately 0.8-3 micromol/L. Conversely, 5-azacytidine was not cytotoxic to peripheral blood mononuclear cells or patient-derived bone marrow stromal cells (BMSC) at these doses. Importantly, 5-azacytidine overcame the survival and growth advantages conferred by exogenous interleukin-6 (IL-6), insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), or by adherence of MM cells to BMSCs. 5-Azacytidine treatment induced DNA double-strand break (DSB) responses, as evidenced by H2AX, Chk2, and p53 phosphorylations, and apoptosis of MM cells. 5-Azacytidine-induced apoptosis was both caspase dependent and independent, with caspase 8 and caspase 9 cleavage; Mcl-1 cleavage; Bax, Puma, and Noxa up-regulation; as well as release of AIF and EndoG from the mitochondria. Finally, we show that 5-azacytidine-induced DNA DSB responses were mediated predominantly by ATR, and that doxorubicin, as well as bortezomib, synergistically enhanced 5-azacytidine-induced MM cell death. Taken together, these data provide the preclinical rationale for the clinical evaluation of 5-azacytidine, alone and in combination with doxorubicin and bortezomib, to improve patient outcome in MM.

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