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1.  Identification of Toyocamycin, an agent cytotoxic for multiple myeloma cells, as a potent inhibitor of ER stress-induced XBP1 mRNA splicing 
Blood Cancer Journal  2012;2(7):e79-.
The IRE1α-XBP1 pathway, a key component of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response, is considered to be a critical regulator for survival of multiple myeloma (MM) cells. Therefore, the availability of small-molecule inhibitors targeting this pathway would offer a new chemotherapeutic strategy for MM. Here, we screened small-molecule inhibitors of ER stress-induced XBP1 activation, and identified toyocamycin from a culture broth of an Actinomycete strain. Toyocamycin was shown to suppress thapsigargin-, tunicamycin- and 2-deoxyglucose-induced XBP1 mRNA splicing in HeLa cells without affecting activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) and PKR-like ER kinase (PERK) activation. Furthermore, although toyocamycin was unable to inhibit IRE1α phosphorylation, it prevented IRE1α-induced XBP1 mRNA cleavage in vitro. Thus, toyocamycin is an inhibitor of IRE1α-induced XBP1 mRNA cleavage. Toyocamycin inhibited not only ER stress-induced but also constitutive activation of XBP1 expression in MM lines as well as primary samples from patients. It showed synergistic effects with bortezomib, and induced apoptosis of MM cells including bortezomib-resistant cells at nanomolar levels in a dose-dependent manner. It also inhibited growth of xenografts in an in vivo model of human MM. Taken together, our results suggest toyocamycin as a lead compound for developing anti-MM therapy and XBP1 as an appropriate molecular target for anti-MM therapy.
doi:10.1038/bcj.2012.26
PMCID: PMC3408640  PMID: 22852048
multiple myeloma; ER stress; IRE1α; XBP1; toyocamycin; adenosine analog
2.  Potent antitumor effects of bevacizumab in a microenvironment-dependent human lymphoma mouse model 
Blood Cancer Journal  2012;2(4):e67-.
We established a mouse model of microenvironment-dependent human lymphoma, and assessed the therapeutic potential of bevacizumab, an antitumor agent acting on the microenvironment. NOD/Shi-scid, IL-2Rγnull (NOG) mice were used as recipients of primary tumor cells from a patient with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), which engraft and proliferate in a microenvironment-dependent manner. The lymphoma cells could be serially transplanted in NOG mice, but could not be maintained in in vitro cultures. Injection of bevacizumab together with CHOP (cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, prednisolone) significantly increased necrosis and decreased vascularization in the tumor, compared with CHOP alone. Levels of human soluble interleukin-2 receptor (sIL2R) in the serum of bevacizumab+CHOP-treated mice (reflecting the DLBCL tumor burden) were significantly lower than in CHOP recipients. Mice receiving bevacizumab monotherapy also showed significant benefit in terms of tumor necrosis and vascularization, as well as decreased serum sIL2R concentrations. The present DLBCL model reflects the human DLBCL in vivo environment more appropriately than current mouse models using established tumor cell lines. This is the first report to evaluate the efficacy of bevacizumab in such a tumor microenvironment-dependent model. Bevacizumab may be a potential treatment strategy for DLBCL patients.
doi:10.1038/bcj.2012.12
PMCID: PMC3346682  PMID: 22829969
bevacizumab; NOD/Shi-scid; IL-2Rγnull (NOG) mouse; lymphoma; tumor microenvironment

Results 1-2 (2)