Deregulation of the protein kinase C (PKC) signalling pathway has been implicated in tumor progression. Here we investigated the PKC inhibitor enzastaurin for its activity against multiple myeloma (MM) cells. Enzastaurin suppresses cell proliferation in a large panel of human myeloma cell lines (HMCLs), with IC50 values ranging from 1.3 to 12.5 microM and induces apoptosis, which is prevented by the ZVAD-fmk broad caspase inhibitor. These results are consistent with decreased phosphorylation of AKT and GSK3-beta, a downstream target of the AKT pathway and a pharmacodynamic marker for enzastaurin. Furthermore, enzastaurin cytotoxicity is retained when HMCLs were cocultured with multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells. Enzastaurin has additive or synergistic cytotoxic effects with bortezomib or thalidomide. Considering the strong anti-myeloma activity of enzastaurin in vitro and in animal models and its safe toxicity profile, phase II studies in MM patients of enzastaurin alone or in combination with other drugs are warranted.