Fatty acid synthase is a novel therapeutic target in multiple myeloma

Yutaka Okawa*, Teru Hideshima, Hiroshi Ikeda, Noopur Raje, Sonia Vallet, Tanyel Kiziltepe, Hiroshi Yasui, Sotaro Enatsu, Samantha Pozzi, Iris Breitkreutz, Diana Cirstea, Loredana Santo, Paul Richardson, Kenneth C. Anderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

30 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the biological significance of the inhibition of fatty acid synthase (FAS) in multiple myeloma (MM) using the small molecule inhibitor Cerulenin. Cerulenin triggered growth inhibition in both MM cell lines and MM patient cells, and overcame the survival and growth advantages conferred by interleukin-6, insulin-like growth factor-1, and bone marrow stromal cells. It induced apoptosis in MM cell lines with only modest activation of caspase -8, -9, -3 and PARP; moreover, the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK did not inhibit Cerulenin-induced apoptosis and cell death. In addition, treatment of MM cells with Cerulenin primarily up-regulated apoptosis-inducing factor/endonuclease G, mediators of caspase-independent apoptosis. Importantly, Cerulenin induced endoplasmic reticulum stress response via up-regulation of the Grp78/IRE1α/JNK pathway. Although the C-Jun-NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor SP600215 blocked Cerulenin-induced cytotoxicity, it did not inhibit apoptosis and caspase cleavage. Furthermore, Cerulenin showed synergistic cytotoxic effects with various agents including Bortezomib, Melphalan and Doxorubicin. Our results therefore indicate that inhibition of FAS by Cerulenin primarily triggered caspase-independent apoptosis and JNK-dependent cytotoxicity in MM cells. This report demonstrated that inhibition of FAS has anti-tumour activity against MM cells, suggesting that it represents a novel therapeutic target in MM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-671
Number of pages13
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Fatty acid synthase
  • JNK
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Signal Transduction
  • Humans
  • Apoptosis/drug effects
  • Caspase 9/biosynthesis
  • Drug Evaluation
  • Caspase 3/biosynthesis
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum Chaperone BiP
  • fas Receptor/metabolism
  • Drug Delivery Systems
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols/therapeutic use
  • Cerulenin/pharmacology
  • Fatty Acid Synthases/antagonists & inhibitors
  • MAP Kinase Kinase 4/metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • JNK Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases
  • Caspase 8/biosynthesis
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Multiple Myeloma/drug therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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