A novel inhibitor of AKT pathway signaling showed significant cytotoxic activity in mouse models and in human cells isolated from patients with primary or relapsed multiple myeloma (MM), investigators reported.
The experimental agent, labeled HS1793, is a derivative of the naturally occurring antioxidant compound resveratrol. In preclinical studies, HS1793 was shown to offer “great promise in eliminating MM cells and improving therapeutic responses in primary and relapsed/refractory MM patients,” according to, of Inje University in Busan, South Korea, and colleagues.
In a series of experiments, described in the journal, the investigators demonstrated that HS1793 decreased AKT signaling to induce mitochondria-mediated cell death in multiple myeloma cells, and was cytotoxic and specific for myeloma cells in a mouse model of human metastatic myeloma, and in samples of human multiple myeloma cells.
When activated, AKT promotes oncogenesis by in turn activating other downstream pathways involved in proliferation or survival of malignant cells.
“AKT is frequently activated in MM cells and the incidence of AKT activation correlates positively with disease activity,” the authors noted.
They first screened 400 compounds, and narrowed in on resveratrol analogs, eventually choosing HS1793 as the most promising candidate.
This first experiment found evidence that suggested that the compound inhibits AKT activation by interfering with the interaction between AKT and its promoter HSP90.
They then showed in human MM cell lines that the antimyeloma action of HS1793 appeared to be from a dose-dependent effect that allowed for mitochondria-mediated programmed cell death.
In a separate series of experiments, they found that the inhibition by HS1793 of AKT/HSP90 interaction results in cell death by suppressing nuclear factor kappa–B (NF-KB) pathway signaling. The investigators had that a different compound, an inhibitor of spindle protein kinesin, induced MM cell death via inhibition of NF-KB signaling.
Next, the investigators showed that HS1793-induced cell death was caused by the direct inhibition of AKT that in turn suppressed NF-KB activation.
Finally, they showed in a mouse model of multiple myeloma metastatic to bone that HS1793 “dramatically decreased” lytic skull and femur lesions in treated mice, compared with mice treated with a vehicle placebo, and increased survival of the mice that received the AKT inhibitor.
They also showed that HS1793 was cytotoxic to multiple myeloma cells but not to normal plasma cells isolated from patients with MM.
“Given that HS1793 treatment specifically induced the death of primary and relapsed MM cells, HS1793 offers excellent translational potential as a novel MM therapy,” they wrote.
The study was supported by grants from the Korean government. The researchers reported having no potential conflicts of interest.
SOURCE: Song IS et al. .