Purpose: Aurora kinases, whose expression is linked to genetic instability and cellular proliferation, are being investigated as novel therapeutic targets in multiple myeloma (MM). In this study, we investigated the preclinical activity of a small-molecule multitargeted kinase inhibitor, AT9283, with potent activity against Aurora kinase A, Aurora kinase B, and Janus kinase 2/3. Experimental Design: We evaluated the in vitro antimyeloma activity of AT9283 alone and in combination with lenalidomide and the in vivo efficacy by using a xenograft mouse model of human MM. Results: Our data showed that AT9283 induced cell-growth inhibition and apoptosis in MM. Studying the apoptosis mechanism of AT9283 in MM, we observed features consistent with both Aurora kinase A and Aurora kinase B inhibition, such as increase of cells with polyploid DNA content, decrease in phosphohistone H3, and decrease in phospho-Aurora A. Importantly, AT9283 also inhibited STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation in MM cells. Genetic depletion of STAT3, Aurora kinase A, or Aurora kinase B showed growth inhibition of MM cells, suggesting a role of AT9283-induced inhibition of these molecules in the underlying mechanism of MM cell death. In vivo studies showed decreased MM cell growth and prolonged survival in AT9283-treated mice compared with controls. Importantly, combination studies of AT9283 with lenalidomide showed significant synergistic cytotoxicity in MM cells, even in the presence of bone marrow stromal cells. Enhanced cytotoxicity was associated with increased inhibition of phosphorylated STAT3 and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase. Conclusions: Demonstration of in vitro and in vivo anti-MM activity of AT9283 provides the rationale for the clinical evaluation of AT9283 as monotherapy and in combination therapy for treating patients with MM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research