The FA/BRCA pathway is involved in melphalan-induced DNA interstrand cross-link repair and accounts for melphalan resistance in multiple myeloma cells

Chen Q, Van der Sluis PC, Boulware D, Hazlehurst LA and Dalton WS
Source: Blood
Publication Date: (2005)
Issue: 106(2): 698-705
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Cells used in publication:
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
Melphalan, a DNA cross-linker, is one of the most widely used and effective drugs in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM). In this report, we demonstrate that enhanced interstrand cross-link (ICL) repair via the Fanconi anemia (FA)/BRCA pathway contributes to acquired drug resistance in melphalan-resistant myeloma cell lines, and disruption of this pathway reverses drug resistance. Using the alkaline comet assay (single-cell gel electrophoresis), we observed that melphalan-resistant cells have reduced ICL formation and enhanced ICL repair compared with melphalan-sensitive cells. Cell-cycle studies demonstrated that enhanced ICL repair released cells from melphalan-induced cell-cycle delay. Using siRNA to knock down FANCF in 8226/LR5 and U266/LR6 drug-resistant cells demonstrated a direct relationship between ICL repair capacity and drug sensitivity. Overexpression of FANCF in 8226/S and U266/S drug-sensitive cells partially reproduced the drug-resistant phenotype. These data show that enhanced DNA repair via the Fanconi anemia/BRCA pathway is involved in acquired melphalan resistance. Our findings provide for a new target to enhance response to DNA cross-linking agents in cancer treatment.