Background: MI-319 is a synthetic small molecule designed to target the MDM2-P53 interaction. It is closely related to MDM2 antagonists MI-219 and Nutlin-3 in terms of the expected working mechanisms. The purpose of this study was to evaluate anti-lymphoma activity of MI-319 in WSU-FSCCL, a B-cell follicular lymphoma line. For comparison purpose, MI-319, MI-219 and Nutlin-3 were assessed side by side against FSCCL and three other B-cell hematological tumor cell lines in growth inhibition and gene expression profiling experiments.
Results: MI-319 was shown to bind to MDM2 protein with an affinity slightly higher than that of MI-219 and Nutlin-3. Nevertheless, cell growth inhibition and gene expression profiling experiments revealed that the three compounds have quite similar potency against the tumor cell lines tested in this study. In vitro, MI-319 exhibited the strongest anti-proliferation activity against FSCCL and four patient cells, which all have wild-type p53. Data obtained from Western blotting, cell cycle and apoptosis analysis experiments indicated that FSCCL exhibited strong cell cycle arrest and significant apoptotic cell death; cells with mutant p53 did not show significant apoptotic cell death with drug concentrations up to 10 muM, but displayed weaker and differential cell cycle responses. In our systemic mouse model for FSCCL, MI-319 was tolerated well by the animals, displayed effectiveness against FSCCL-lymphoma cells in blood, brain and bone marrow, and achieved significant therapeutic impact (p < 0.0001) by conferring the treatment group a > 28% (%ILS, 14.4 days) increase in median survival days.
Conclusion: Overall, MI-319 probably has an anti-lymphoma potency equal to that of MI-219 and Nutlin-3. It is a potent agent against FSCCL in vitro and in vivo and holds the promises to be developed further for the treatment of follicular lymphoma that retains wild-type p53.