Motexafin gadolinium (MGd), an expanded porphyrin, is a tumor-selective redox-mediator that reacts with many intracellular reducing metabolites. Because redox mechanisms mediate apoptosis in multiple myeloma, we hypothesized that disruption of redox balance by MGd would result in cellular cytotoxicity in myeloma. We examined the effects of MGd on cellular cytotoxicity, apoptosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and intracellular drug uptake in dexamethasone-sensitive (C2E3), dexamethasone-resistant (1-310 and 1-414) chemotherapy-sensitive (8226-RPMI) and highly chemotherapy-resistant (DOX-10V) myeloma cells. We found complete inhibition of proliferation and cytotoxicity in each sensitive and resistant cell line with 24-hour exposure to clinically relevant concentrations of 50 μM MGd and 50 to 100 μM ascorbate, which was required for the effect. The mechanism of cytotoxicity was related to induction of apoptosis as demonstrated by alteration in mitochondrial membrane potential and elevated annexin V expression. This was accompanied by depletion of intracellular glutathione and increased ROS production. Moreover, catalase substantially abrogated MGd-induced cell death. Using fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry, we found intracellular uptake of MGd and intracellular ROS production. MGd also induced apoptosis in fresh malignant cells from patients with multiple myeloma. These studies provide a rationale for clinical investigation of this novel redox-mediating agent in patients with multiple myeloma and related disorders.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology