Proteasome inhibitor MG-132 mediated expression of p27Kip1 via S-phase kinase protein 2 degradation induces cell cycle coupled apoptosis in primary effusion lymphoma cells

Document Type



Centre for Regenerative Medicine


Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is an incurable, aggressive B-cell malignancy that develops rapid resistance to conventional chemotherapy. MG-132, a proteasome inhibitor, suppresses cell proliferation and induces apoptosis in several PEL cell lines. Treatment of PEL cells with MG-132 results in downregulation of S-phase kinase protein 2 (SKP2) and accumulation of p27Kip1. Furthermore, MG-132 treatment of PEL cells causes Bax conformational changes, leading to loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and release of cytochrome c to the cytosole. Such cytochrome c release results in sequential activation of caspases and apoptosis, while pretreatment of PEL cells with universal inhibitor of caspases, z-VAD-fmk prevents cell death induced by MG-132. Finally, our data demonstrated in PEL cells that MG-132 downregulates the expression of inhibitor of apoptosis proteins XIAP, cIAP1 and survivin. Altogether, these findings suggest that MG-132 is a potent inducer of apoptosis of PEL cells via downregulation of SKP2 leading to accumulation of p27Kip1, resulting in cell cycle arrest and apoptosis and strongly suggest that targeting the proteasomal pathway may provide a novel therapeutic approach for the treatment of PEL.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Leukemia & Lymphoma