PCI-24781 induces caspase and reactive oxygen species-dependent apoptosis through NF-κB mechanisms and is synergistic with bortezomib in lymphoma cells

Savita Bhalla, Sriram Balasubramanian, Kevin David, Mint Sirisawad, Joseph Buggy, Lauren Mauro, Sheila Prachand, Richard Miller, Leo I. Gordon, Andrew M. Evens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Purpose: We investigated the cytotoxicity and mechanisms of cell death of the broad-spectrum histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor PCI-24781, alone and combined with bortezomib in Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines and primary lymphoproliferative (CLL/SLL) cells. Experimental Design: Apoptosis, mitochondrial membrane potential, cell cycle analysis, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured by flow cytometry, whereas caspase activation was determined by Western blot. Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB)-related mRNAs were quantified by reverse transcription-PCR, NF-κB-related proteins by Western blotting, and NF-κB DNA-binding activity by electromobility shift assay. Finally, gene expression profiling was analyzed. Results: PCI-24781 induced concentration-dependent apoptosis that was associated with prominent G0/G1 arrest, decreased S-phase, increased p21 protein, and increased ROS in Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines. Dose-dependent apoptosis with PCI-24781was also seenamong primary CLL/SLL cells. PCI-24781-induced apoptosis was shown to be ROS- and caspase-dependent. Combined PCI-24781/bortezomib treatment resulted in strong synergistic apoptosis in all non-Hodgkin lymphoma lines (combination indices, 0.19-0.6) andwas additive inHodgkin lymphomaand primary CLL/SLL cells. Further, PCI-24781/bortezomib resulted in increased caspase cleavage, mitochondrial depolarization, and histone acetylation compared with either agent alone. Gene expression profiling showed that PCI-24781 alone significantly down-regulated several antioxidant genes, proteasome components, and NF-κB pathway genes, effects that were enhanced further with bortezomib. Reverse transcription-PCR confirmed down-regulation of NF-κB1 (p105), c-Myc, and IκB-kinase subunits,where NF-κB DNA binding activity was decreased. Conclusion: We show that PCI-24781 results in increased ROS and NF-κB inhibition, leading to caspase-dependent apoptosis. We also show that bortezomib is synergistic with PCI-24781. This combination or PCI-24781 alone has potential therapeutic value in lymphoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3354-3365
Number of pages12
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 15 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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