Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a subtype of non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma and is an aggressive neoplasm caused by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) in immunosuppressed patients. In general, PEL cells are derived from post-germinal center B-cells and are infected with KSHV. To evaluate potential novel anti-tumor compounds against KSHV-associated PEL, seven water-soluble fullerene derivatives were evaluated as potential drug candidates for the treatment of PEL. Herein, we discovered a pyrrolidinium fullerene derivative, 1,1,1′,1′-tetramethyl fullerenodipyrrolidinium diiodide, which induced apoptosis of PEL cells via a novel mechanism, the caspase-9 activation by suppressing the caspase-9 phosphorylation, causing caspase-9 inactivation. Pyrrolidinium fullerene treatment reduced significantly the viability of PEL cells compared with KSHV-uninfected lymphoma cells, and induced the apoptosis of PEL cells by activating caspase-9 via procaspase-9 cleavage. Pyrrolidinium fullerene additionally reduced the Ser473 phosphorylation of Akt and Ser196 of procaspase-9. Ser473-phosphorylated Akt (i.e., activated Akt) phosphorylates Ser196 in procaspase-9, causing inactivation of procaspase-9. We also demonstrated that Akt inhibitors suppressed the proliferation of PEL cells compared with KSHV-uninfected cells. Our data therefore suggest that Akt activation is essential for cell survival in PEL and a pyrrolidinium fullerene derivative induced apoptosis by activating caspase-9 via suppression of Akt in PEL cells. In addition, we evaluated whether pyrrolidinium fullerene in combination with the HSP90 inhibitor (geldanamycin; GA) or valproate, potentiated the cytotoxic effects on PEL cells. Compared to treatment with pyrrolidinium fullerene alone, the addition of low-concentration GA or valproate enhanced the cytotoxic activity of pyrrolidinium fullerene. These results indicate that pyrrolidinium fullerene could be used as a novel therapy for the treatment of PEL.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications|
|Publication status||Published - 2014 Aug 15|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology
- Molecular Biology