Pyrvinium selectively induces apoptosis of lymphoma cells through impairing mitochondrial functions and JAK2/STAT5.


Targeting mitochondrial respiration has emerged as an attractive therapeutic strategy in blood cancer due to their unique metabolic dependencies. In this study, we show that pyrvinium, a FDA-approved anthelmintic drug, selectively targets lymphoma T-cells though inhibition of mitochondrial functions and JAK2/STAT5. Pyrvinium induces apoptosis of malignant T-cell line Jurkat and primary T-cells from lymphoma patients while sparing T-cells from healthy donors. Increased level of active caspase-3 and decreased levels of Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 were also observed in Jurkat and lymphoma T-cells but not normal T-cells treated with pyrvinium. In addition, pyrvinium impairs mitochondrial functions by inhibit mitochondrial respiration, suppressing mitochondrial respiratory complex I activity, increasing ROS and decreasing ATP levels. However, the effects of pyrvinium were abolished in mitochondrial respiration-deficient Jurkat ρ(0) cells, confirming that pyrvinium acts on lymphoma T-cells via targeting mitochondrial respiration. We further show that lymphoma T-cells derived from patients depend more on mitochondrial respiration than normal T-cells, and this explains the selective toxicity of pyrvinium in lymphoma versus normal T-cells. Finally, we demonstrate that pyrvinium also suppresses JAK2/STAT5 signaling pathway in Jurkat cells. Our study suggests that pyrvinium is a useful addition to T-cell lymphoma treatment, and emphasizes the potential therapeutic value of the differences in the mitochondrial characteristics between malignant and normal T-cells in blood cancer.

DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2015.12.059
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@article{Xiao2016PyrviniumSI, title={Pyrvinium selectively induces apoptosis of lymphoma cells through impairing mitochondrial functions and JAK2/STAT5.}, author={Meifang Xiao and Li-Ming Zhang and Yizheng Zhou and Pasupati Rajoria and Changfu Wang}, journal={Biochemical and biophysical research communications}, year={2016}, volume={469 3}, pages={716-22} }