Farnesyl transferase inhibitor R115777 induces apoptosis of human myeloma cells

Leukemia. 2002 Sep;16(9):1664-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.leu.2402629.


R115777, a nonpeptidomimetic farnesyl transferase inhibitor has recently demonstrated a significant antileukemic activity in vivo in acute myeloid leukemia. Multiple myeloma (MM) is a fatal hematological malignancy characterized by an accumulation of long-lived plasma cells within the bone marrow. In the present study, we have investigated the effect of the R115777 on growth and survival of myeloma cells. We have found that R115777 induced (1) a significant and dose-dependent growth inhibition of the three myeloma cell lines tested; and (2) a significant and time-dependent apoptosis. R115777 also induced apoptosis in the bone marrow mononuclear cell population of four MM patients, being almost restricted to the malignant plasma cells. Finally, we have investigated the effect of the R115777 in the Ras/MAPK and JAK/STAT pathways which are implicated in survival and/or proliferation in MM. The phosphorylation of both STAT3 and ERK1/2 induced by IL-6 was totally blocked at 15 microM of R115777 and partially blocked when R115777 was used at 10 and 5 microM. The induction of apoptosis by R115777 in myeloma cells and its implication in the regulation of JAK/STAT signalling suggest that R115777 might be an interesting therapeutical approach in MM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Farnesyltranstransferase
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1 / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Multiple Myeloma / drug therapy*
  • Multiple Myeloma / pathology*
  • Protein Prenylation / drug effects
  • Quinolones / pharmacology*
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Trans-Activators / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured / drug effects


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Interleukin-6
  • Quinolones
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • STAT3 protein, human
  • Trans-Activators
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • Farnesyltranstransferase
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3
  • Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • tipifarnib