The sphingosine-1-phosphate modulator FTY720 targets multiple myeloma via the CXCR4/CXCL12 pathway

Katia Beider, Evgenia Rosenberg, Hanna Bitner, Avichai Shimoni, Merav Leiba, Maya Koren-Michowitz, Elena Ribakovsky, Shiri Klein, Devorah Olam, Lola Weiss, Hanna Wald, Michal Abraham, Eithan Galun, Amnon Peled, Arnon Nagler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: To explore the functional consequences of possible cross-talk between the CXCR4/CXCL12 and the sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) pathways in multiple myeloma (MM) cells and to evaluate the effect of S1P targeting with the FTY720 modulator as a potential anti-MM therapeutic strategy. Experimental Design and Results: S1P targeting with FTY720 induces MM cell apoptosis. The combination of FTY720 with the SPHK1 inhibitor SKI-II results in synergistic inhibition of MM growth. CXCR4/CXCL12-enhanced expression correlates with reduced MM cell sensitivity to both FTY720 and SKI-II inhibitors, and with SPHK1 coexpression in both cell lines and primary MM bone marrow (BM) samples, suggesting regulative cross-talk between the CXCR4/CXCL12 and SPHK1 pathways in MM cells. FTY720 was found to directly target CXCR4. FTY720 profoundly reduces CXCR4 cell-surface levels and abrogates the CXCR4- mediated functions of migration toward CXCL12 and signaling pathway activation. Moreover, FTY720 cooperates with bortezomib, inducing its cytotoxic activity and abrogating the bortezomib-mediated increase in CXCR4 expression. FTY720 effectively targets bortezomib-resistant cells and increases their sensitivity to bortezomib, promoting DNA damage. Finally, in a recently developed novel xenograft model of CXCR4-dependent systemic MM with BM involvement, FTY720 treatment effectively reduces tumor burden in the BM of MM-bearing mice. FTY720 in combination with bortezomib demonstrates superior tumor growth inhibition and abrogates bortezomib-induced CXCR4 increase on MM cells. Conclusions: Altogether, our work identifies a cross-talk between the S1P and CXCR4 pathways in MM cells and provides a preclinical rationale for the therapeutic application of FTY720 in combination with bortezomib in patients with MM.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1733-1747
Number of pages15
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Association for Cancer Research.


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