Cytotoxic and Apoptotic Effects of Pinostilbene and Bortezomib Combination Treatment on Human Multiple Myeloma Cells.

Anna Staskiewicz, Erica Wong, Michael Tucker, Riya Farhin, Jonathan Park, Rana Saade, Tina Alkhazali, Tu Dang, Xinyu Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple myeloma (MM) is a cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow characterized by bone lesions, hypercalcemia, anemia, and renal failure. Bortezomib (BTZ), a common treatment for MM, is a proteasome inhibitor that induces apoptosis in MM cells. However, high doses of BTZ can be very toxic, signifying a need for a synergistic drug combination to improve treatment efficacy. Resveratrol (RES), a phenolic compound found in grapes, has been shown to inhibit MM cell growth. We sought to identify a synergistic combination of BTZ with a RES derivative and analyze the effects on reducing viability and inducing apoptosis in human MM cells. BTZ as well as RES and its derivatives pinostilbene (PIN) and piceatannol (PIC) decreased MM cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner and increased expression of cleaved proapoptotic proteins poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) and caspase-3 in a dose-dependent manner. The combination of 5 nM BTZ and 5 μM PIN was identified to have synergistic cytotoxic effects in MM RPMI 8226 cells. MM RPMI 8226 cells treated with this combination for 24 h showed increased cleaved PARP1 and caspase-3 expression and higher percentages of apoptotic cells versus cells treated with the individual compounds alone. The treatment also showed increased apoptosis induction in MM RPMI 8226 cells co-cultured with human bone marrow stromal HS-5 cells in a Transwell model used to mimic the bone marrow microenvironment. Expression of oxidative stress defense proteins (catalase, thioredoxin, and superoxide dismutase) in RPMI 8226 cells were reduced after 24 h treatment, and cytotoxic effects of the treatment were ameliorated by antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC), suggesting the treatment impacts antioxidant levels in RPMI 8226 cells. Our results suggest that this combination of BTZ and PIN decreases MM cell viability synergistically by inducing apoptosis and oxidative stress in MM cells.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
StatePublished - Aug 9 2023


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Bortezomib
  • Caspase 3
  • Humans
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Resveratrol
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Medicine and Health Sciences

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