Chaetocin: A promising new antimyeloma agent with in vitro and in vivo activity mediated via imposition of oxidative stress

Crescent R. Isham, Jennifer D. Tibodeau, Wendy Jin, Ruifang Xu, Michael M. Timm, Keith C. Bible

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Chaetocin, a thiodioxopiperazine natural product previously unreported to have anticancer effects, was found to have potent antimyeloma activity in IL-6-dependent and -independent myeloma cell lines in freshly collected sorted and unsorted patient CD138+ myeloma cells and in vivo. Chaetocin largely spares matched normal CD138- patient bone marrow leukocytes, normal B cells, and neoplastic B-CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) cells, indicating a high degree of selectivity even in closely lineage-related B cells. Furthermore, chaetocin displays superior ex vivo antimyeloma activity and selectivity than doxorubicin and dexamethasone, and dexamethasone- or doxorubicin-resistant myeloma cell lines are largely non-cross-resistant to chaetocin. Mechanistically, chaetocin is dramatically accumulated in cancer cells via a process inhibited by glutathione and requiring intact/unreduced disulfides for uptake. Once inside the cell, its anticancer activity appears mediated primarily through the imposition of oxidative stress and consequent apoptosis induction. Moreover, the selective antimyeloma effects of chaetocin appear not to reflect differential intracellular accumulation of chaetocin but, instead, heightened sensitivity of myeloma cells to the cytotoxic effects of imposed oxidative stress. Considered collectively, chaetocin appears to represent a promising agent for further study as a potential antimyeloma therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2579-2588
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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