Dual regulation of glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) by the glucocorticoid receptor and the PI3-kinase/AKT pathways in multiple myeloma

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2008 Jun;110(3-5):244-54. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2007.11.003. Epub 2008 Apr 20.


Glucocorticoids (GCs) are effective therapeutics commonly used in multiple myeloma (MM) treatment. Clarifying the pathway of GC-induced apoptosis is crucial to understanding the process of drug resistance and to the development of new targets for MM treatment. We have previously published results of a micro-array identifying glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ) as GC-regulated gene in MM.1S cells. Consistent with those results, GCs increased GILZ in MM cell lines and patient samples. Reducing the levels of GILZ with siRNA decreased GC-induced cell death suggesting GILZ may mediate GC-killing. We conducted a screen to identify other pathways that affect GILZ regulation and report that inhibitors of PI3-kinase/AKT enhanced GILZ expression in MM cell lines and clinical samples. The combination of dexamethasone (Dex) and LY294002, wortmannin, triciribine, or AKT inhibitor VIII dramatically up regulated GILZ levels and enhanced apoptosis. Addition of interleukin-6 (IL-6) or insulin-like growth factor (IGF1), both which activate the PI3-kinase/AKT pathway and inhibit GC killing, blocked up regulation of GILZ by GC and PI3-kinase/AKT inhibitors. In summary, these results identify GILZ as a mediator of GC killing, indicate a role of PI3-kinase/AKT in controlling GILZ regulation and suggest that the combination of PI3-kinase/AKT inhibitors and GCs may be a beneficial MM treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Drug Combinations
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-6 / pharmacology
  • Multiple Myeloma / genetics*
  • Oncogene Protein v-akt / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Oncogene Protein v-akt / physiology*
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases / physiology*
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Drug Combinations
  • Interleukin-6
  • Phosphoinositide-3 Kinase Inhibitors
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • TSC22D3 protein, human
  • Transcription Factors
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Dexamethasone
  • Oncogene Protein v-akt