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FTY720 induces ferroptosis and autophagy via PP2A/AMPK pathway in multiple myeloma cells

Aims: Multiple myeloma (MM) is the second hematological plasma cell malignany and sensitive to fingolimod (FTY720), a novel immunosuppressant. Previous study shows FTY720-induced apoptosis and autophagy can cause cell death in MM cells, however, the high death rate cannot fully be explained. The study aims to investigate further mechanism of how FTY720 kills MM cells.

Materials and methods: Experiments are performed on 25 human primary cell samples and two MM cell lines by flow cytometry, fluorescence microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. Expressions of relative factors are tested by qRT-PCR or western blot.

Key findings: Ferroptosis-specific inhibitors, deferoxamine mesylate (DFOM) and ferropstatin-1 (Fer-1), reverse FTY720-induced cell death in MM cells. Glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) and soluble carrier family 7 member 11 (SLC7A11), key regulators of ferroptosis, are highly expressed in primary MM cells and can be decreased by FTY720 at the mRNA and protein level in MM cells. In addition, FTY720 induces other characteristic changes of ferroptosis. Furthermore, FTY720 can dephosphorylate AMP-activated protein kinase subunit ɑ (AMPKɑ) at the Thr172 site by activating protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and reduce the expression of phosphorylated eukaryotic elongation factor 2 (eEF2), finally cause MM cell death. Using LB-100, a PP2A inhibitor, AICAR, an agonist of AMPK, and bafilomycin A1 (Baf-A1), an autophagy inhibitor, we discover that FTY720 induces ferroptosis and autophagy through the PP2A/AMPK pathway, and ferroptosis and autophagy can reinforce each other.

Significance: These results provide a new perspective on the treatment of MM.

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S7537 LB-100 LB-100 is a water soluble protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibitor with IC50s of 0.85 μM and 3.87 μM in BxPc-3 and Panc-1 cells. (26) (2)

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