Osteoclasts contribute to bone marrow (BM)-mediated drug resistance in multiple myeloma (MM) by providing cytoprotective cues. Additionally, 80% of patients develop osteolytic lesions, which is a major cause of morbidity in MM. Although targeting osteoclast function is critical to improve MM therapies, pre-clinical studies rarely consider overcoming osteoclast-mediated cytoprotection within the selection criteria of drug candidates. We have performed a drug screening and iden-tified PI3K as a key regulator of a signalling node associated with resistance to dexamethasone lenalidomide, pomalidomide, and bortezomib mediated by osteoclasts and BM fibroblastic stro-mal cells, which was blocked by the pan-PI3K Class IA inhibitor GDC-0941. Additionally, GDC-0941 repressed the maturation of osteoclasts derived from MM patients and disrupted the organisation of the F-actin cytoskeleton in sealing zones required for bone degradation, corre-lating with decreased bone resorption by osteoclasts. In vivo, GDC-0941 improved the efficacy of dexamethasone against MM in the syngeneic GFP-5T33/C57-Rawji mouse model. Taken together, our results indicate that GDC-0941 in combination with currently used therapeutic agents could effectively kill MM cells in the presence of the cytoprotective BM microenvironment while in-hibiting bone resorption by osteoclasts. These data support investigating GDC-0941 in combina-tion with currently used therapeutic drugs for MM patients with active bone disease.
- myeloma; tumour microenvironment; co-culture system; dexamethasone; resistance; osteoclasts; high throughput screening