Salicylates enhance CRM1 inhibitor antitumor activity by induction of S-phase arrest and impairment of DNA-damage repair

Jithma P. Abeykoon, Xiaosheng Wu, Kevin E. Nowakowski, Surendra Dasari, Jonas Paludo, S. John Weroha, Chunling Hu, Xiaonan Hou, Jann N. Sarkaria, Ann C. Mladek, Jessica L. Phillips, Andrew L. Feldman, Aishwarya Ravindran, Rebecca L. King, Justin Boysen, Mary J. Stenson, Ryan M. Carr, Michelle K. Manske, Julian R. Molina, Prashant KapoorSameer A. Parikh, Shaji Kumar, Steven I. Robinson, Jia Yu, Judy C. Boughey, Liewei Wang, Matthew P. Goetz, Fergus J. Couch, Mrinal M. Patnaik, Thomas E. Witzig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chromosome region maintenance protein 1 (CRM1) mediates protein export from the nucleus and is a new target for anticancer therapeutics. Broader application of KPT-330 (selinexor), a first-in-class CRM1 inhibitor recently approved for relapsed multiple myeloma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, have been limited by substantial toxicity.Wediscovered that salicylates markedly enhance the antitumor activity of CRM1 inhibitors by extending the mechanisms of action beyond CRM1 inhibition. Using salicylates in combination enables targeting of a range of blood cancers with a much lower dose of selinexor, thereby potentially mitigating prohibitive clinical adverse effects. Choline salicylate (CS) with low-dose KPT-330 (K1CS) had potent, broad activity across high-risk hematological malignancies and solid-organ cancers ex vivo and in vivo. The K1CS combination was not toxic to nonmalignant cells as compared with malignant cells and was safe without inducing toxicity to normal organs in mice. Mechanistically, compared with KPT-330 alone, K1CS suppresses the expression of CRM1, Rad51, and thymidylate synthase proteins, leading to more efficient inhibition of CRM1-mediated nuclear export, impairment of DNA-damage repair, reduced pyrimidine synthesis, cell-cycle arrest in S-phase, and cell apoptosis. Moreover, the addition of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors further potentiates the K1CS antitumor effect. K1CS represents a new class of therapy for multiple types of blood cancers and will stimulate future investigations to exploit DNA-damage repair and nucleocytoplasmic transport for cancer therapy in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-523
Number of pages11
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 28 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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