β-catenin inhibitor BC2059 is efficacious as monotherapy or in combination with proteasome inhibitor bortezomib in multiple myeloma

Ioanna Savvidou, Tiffany Khong, Andrew Cuddihy, Catriona McLean, Stephen Horrigan, Andrew Spencer

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16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Currently available treatment options are unlikely to be curative for the majority of multiple myeloma patients, emphasizing a continuing role for the introduction of investigational agents that can overcome drug resistance. The canonical Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, essential for self-renewal, growth, and survival, has been found to be dysregulated in multiple myeloma, particularly in advanced stages of disease. This provides the rationale for evaluating the novel β-catenin inhibitor BC2059 as monotherapy and in combination with proteasome inhibitors in vitro and in vivo. Here, we show nuclear localization of β-catenin in human myeloma cell lines (HMCL), consistent with activation of the canonical Wnt pathway. BC2059 attenuates β-catenin levels, in both the cytoplasm and the nucleus, reducing the transcriptional activity of the TCF4/LEF complex and the expression of its target gene axin 2. Treatment of HMCL with BC2059 inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. This is also observed in HMCL–stromal cell cocultures, mitigating the protective effect afforded by the stroma. Similarly, BC2059 induces apoptosis in primary multiple myeloma samples in vitro, causing minimal apoptosis on healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Furthermore, it synergizes with the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib both in HMCL and primary multiple myeloma samples. Finally, in xenograft models of human myelomatosis, BC2059 delays tumor growth and prolongs survival with minor on-target side effects. Collectively, these results demonstrate the efficacy of targeting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway with BC2059 both in vitro and in vivo, at clinically achievable doses. These findings support further clinical evaluation of BC2059 for the treatment of multiple myeloma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1765-1778
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Volume16
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

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