Enzastaurin (LY317615), a protein kinase Cβ inhibitor, inhibits the AKT pathway and induces apoptosis in multiple myeloma cell lines

Mujahid A. Rizvi*, Kulsoom Ghias, Katharine M. Davies, Chunguang Ma, Frank Weinberg, Hidayatullah G. Munshi, Nancy L. Krett, Steven T. Rosen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Enzastaurin (LY317615), an acyclic bisindolylmaleimide, is an oral inhibitor of the protein kinase Cβ isozyme. The objective of this study was to assess the efficacy of enzastaurin in inducing apoptosis in multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines and to investigate possible mechanisms of apoptosis. Cell proliferation assays were done on a variety of MM cell lines with unique characteristics (dexamethasone sensitive, dexamethasone resistant, chemotherapy sensitive, and melphalan resistant). The dexamethasone-sensitive MM.1S cell line was used to further assess the effect of enzastaurin in the presence of dexamethasone, insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I), interleukin-6, and the pan-specific caspase inhibitor ZVAD-fmk. Enzastaurin increased cell death in all cell lines at clinically significant low micromolar concentrations (1-3 μmol/L) after 72 hours of treatment. Dexamethasone and enzastaurin were shown to have an additive effect on MM.1S cell death. Although IGF-I blocked the effect of 1 μmol/L enzastaurin, IGF-I did not abrogate cell death induced with 3 μmol/L enzastaurin. Moreover, enzastaurin-induced cell death was not affected by interleukin-6 or ZVAD-fmk. GSK3β phosphorylation, a reliable pharmacodynamic marker for enzastaurin activity, and AKT phosphorylation were both decreased with enzastaurin treatment. These data indicate that enzastaurin induces apoptosis in MM cell lines in a caspase-independent manner and that enzastaurin exerts its antimyeloma effect by inhibiting signaling through the AKT pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1783-1789
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular cancer therapeutics
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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