Thalidomide down-regulates transcript levels of GC-rich promoter genes in multiple myeloma

Liat Drucker*, Orit Uziel, Tali Tohami, Hava Shapiro, Judith Radnay, Shai Yarkoni, Meir Lahav, Michael Lishner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thalidomide (Thd), a potent teratogen, was shown to have therapeutic potential in cancer, primarily in multiple myeloma (MM), yet its mechanism of action has not been elucidated. It was recently suggested that its teratogenicity is derived from interference in expression of genes regulated by GC-rich promoters by blocking the binding of SP1 transcription factor to its motif. We explored the validation of the proposed model by focusing on potential molecular targets associated with MM pathogenesis. Cell lines RPMI 8226, U266, and ARH-77 were exposed for 24 h to racemic Thd and analyzed for apoptosis, membranal expression of CD29 and CD63, transcript level of hTERT, CD63, and IGFI-R (characterized by GC-rich motifs) and telomerase activity. Analysis of an hTERT core promoter reporter gene expression [enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)] in transiently transfected RPMI 8226 incubated with racemic and steric (±)-enantiomers of Thd was performed. A consistent reduction (∼10-40%) in transcript levels of all three assayed genes in all three cell lines was demonstrated in the presence of racemic Thd. Significant reduction of EGFP was demonstrated in cells transfected with hTERT reporter gene and treated with racemic and (S)-Thd. Our results show that Thd's antimyeloma activity can be ascribed to the same mechanism responsible for its teratogenic effect and that the inhibition of GC-rich promoter genes is mostly attributed to the S-racemate. Indeed, this selectivity delineates GC-rich promoter genes as a unique group eligible for specific drug targeting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-420
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Thalidomide down-regulates transcript levels of GC-rich promoter genes in multiple myeloma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this