Intracellular proteolytic pathways have been validated as rational targets in multiple myeloma with the approval of two proteasome inhibitors in this disease, and with the finding that immunomodulatory agents work through an E3 ubiquitin ligase containing Cereblon. Another E3 ligase that could be a rational target is the murine double minute (MDM) 2 protein, which plays a role in p53 turnover. A novel inhibitor of this complex, MI-63, was found to induce apoptosis in p53 wild-type myeloma models in association with activation of a p53-mediated cell death program. MI-63 overcame adhesion-mediated drug resistance, showed anti-tumor activity in vivo, enhanced the activity of bortezomib and lenalidomide, and also overcame lenalidomide resistance. In mutant p53 models, inhibition of MDM2 with MI-63 also activated apoptosis, albeit at higher concentrations, and this was associated with activation of autophagy. When MI-63 was combined with the BH3 mimetic ABT-737, enhanced activity was seen in both wild-type and mutant p53 models. Finally, this regimen showed efficacy against primary plasma cells from patients with newly diagnosed and relapsed/refractory myeloma. These findings support the translation of novel MDM2 inhibitors both alone, and in combination with other novel agents, to the clinic for patients with multiple myeloma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas