RNA interference screening identified XPO1 (exportin 1) among the 55 most vulnerable targets in multiple myeloma (MM). XPO1 encodes CRM1, a nuclear export protein. XPO1 expression increases with MM disease progression. Patients with MM have a higher expression of XPO1 compared with normal plasma cells (P<0.04) and to patients with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance/smoldering MM (P<0.0001). The highest XPO1 level was found in human MM cell lines (HMCLs). A selective inhibitor of nuclear export compound KPT-276 specifically and irreversibly inhibits the nuclear export function of XPO1. The viability of 12 HMCLs treated with KTP-276 was significantly reduced. KPT-276 also actively induced apoptosis in primary MM patient samples. In gene expression analyses, two genes of probable relevance were dysregulated by KPT-276: cell division cycle 25 homolog A (CDC25A) and bromodomain-containing protein 4 (BRD4), both of which are associated with c-MYC pathway. Western blotting and reverse transcription-PCR confirm that c-MYC, CDC25A and BRD4 are all downregulated after treatment with KPT-276. KPT-276 reduced monoclonal spikes in the Vk*MYC transgenic MM mouse model, and inhibited tumor growth in a xenograft MM mouse model. A phase I clinical trial of an analog of KPT-276 is ongoing in hematological malignancies including MM.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01607892.