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Proteomic characterization of Withaferin A-targeted protein networks for the treatment of monoclonal myeloma gammopathies

  • Dom, Martin
  • Offner, Fritz
  • Vanden Berghe, Wim
  • Van Ostade, Xaveer
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2018
DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2018.02.013
Ghent University Institutional Archive
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Withaferin A (WA), a natural steroid lactone from the plant Withania somnifera, is often studied because of its antitumor properties. Although many in vitro and in vivo studies have been performed, the identification of Withaferin A protein targets and its mechanism of antitumor action remain incomplete. We used quantitative chemoproteomics and differential protein expression analysis to characterize the WA antitumor effects on a multiple myeloma cell model. Identified relevant targets were further validated by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis and Western blot and indicate that WA targets protein networks that are specific for monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and other closely related disorders, such as multiple myeloma (MM) and Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia (WM). By blocking the PSMB10 proteasome subunit, downregulation of ANXA4, potential association with HDAC6 and upregulation of HMOX1, WA puts a massive blockage on both proteotoxic and oxidative stress responses pathways, leaving cancer cells defenseless against WA induced stresses. These results indicate that WA mediated apoptosis is preceded by simultaneous targeting of cellular stress response pathways like proteasome degradation, autophagy and unfolded protein stress response and thus suggests that WA can be used as an effective treatment for MGUS and other closely related disorders. Significance: Multifunctional antitumor compounds are of great potential since they reduce the risk of multidrug resistance in chemotherapy. Unfortunately, characterization of all protein targets of a multifunctional compound is lacking. Therefore, we optimized an SILAC quantitative chemoproteomics workflow to identify the potential protein targets of Withaferin A (WA), a natural multifunctional compound with promising antitumor properties. To further understand the antitumor mechanisms of WA, we performed a differential protein expression analysis and combined the altered expression data with chemoproteome WA target data in the highly curated Ingenuity Pathway database. We provide a first global overview on how WA kills multiple myeloma cancer cells and serve as a starting point for further in depth experiments. Furthermore, the combined approach can be used for other types of cancer and/or other promising multifunctional compounds, thereby increasing the potential development of new antitumor therapies.

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