HDAC inhibitor AR-42 decreases CD44 expression and sensitizes myeloma cells to lenalidomide

Alessandro Canella, Hector Cordero Nieves, Douglas W. Sborov, Luciano Cascione, Hanna S. Radomska, Emily Smith, Andrew Stiff, Jessica Consiglio, Enrico Caserta, Lara Rizzotto, Nicola Zanesi, Volinia Stefano, Balveen Kaur, Xiaokui Mo, John C. Byrd, Yvonne A. Efebera, Craig C. Hofmeister, Flavia Pichiorri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a hematological malignancy of plasma cells in the bone marrow. Despite multiple treatment options, MM is inevitably associated with drug resistance and poor outcomes. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi's) are promising novel chemotherapeutics undergoing evaluation in clinical trials for the potential treatment of patients with MM. Although in preclinical studies HDACi's have proven anti-myeloma activity, but in the clinic single-agent HDACi treatments have been limited due to low tolerability. Improved clinical outcomes were reported only when HDACi's were combined with other drugs. Here, we show that a novel pan-HDACi AR-42 downregulates CD44, a glycoprotein that has been associated with lenalidomide and dexamethasone resistance in myeloma both in vitro and in vivo. We also show that this CD44 downregulation is in part mediated by miR-9-5p, targeting insulin-like growth factor 2 mRNA binding protein 3 (IGF2BP3), which directly binds to CD44 mRNA and increases its stability. Importantly, we also demonstrate that AR-42 enhances anti-myeloma activity of lenalidomide in primary MM cells isolated from lenalidomide resistant patients and in in vivo MM mouse model. Thus, our findings shed light on potential novel combinatorial therapeutic approaches modulating CD44 expression, which may help overcome lenalidomide resistance in myeloma patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31134-31150
Number of pages17
Issue number31
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • CD44
  • IGF2BP3
  • Lenalidomide
  • MiR-9-5p
  • Myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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