Mantle cell lymphoma activation enhances bortezomib sensitivity

Sarah K. Brennan, Brooke Meade, Qiuju Wang, Akil A. Merchant, Jeanne Kowalski, William Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) typically respond to initial treatment but subsequently relapse. This pattern suggests that a population of MCL cells is both drug resistant and capable of clonogenic growth. The intracellular enzyme retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) provides resistance to several toxic agents. ALDH can also identify stem cells in normal adult tissues and tumorigenic cancer stem cells in several human malignancies.We studied ALDH expression in MCL and found small populations of ALDH+ cells that were highly clonogenic. Moreover, ALDH+ MCL cells were relatively quiescent and resistant to a wide range of agents. Normal B cells can be activated by specific unmethylated cytosine-phosphate-guanosine (C) DNA motifs through toll-like receptor 9, and we found that the synthetic CpG oligonucleotide 2006 (CpG) reduced the frequency of quiescent ALDH+ MCL cells, induced terminal plasma cell differentiation, and limited tumor formation in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with CpG also significantly enhanced the activity of the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib that was associated with induction of the unfolded protein response. Our data suggest that CpG may target clonogenic and resistant ALDH+ cells as well as improve the activity of proteasome inhibitors in MCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4185-4191
Number of pages7
Issue number20
StatePublished - Nov 18 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


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