Cell cycle regulation and induction of apoptosis by IL-6 variants on the multiple myeloma cell line XG-1

M. T. Petrucci, M. R. Ricciardi, C. Ariola, C. Gregorj, M. Ribersani, R. Savino, G. Ciliberto, A. Tafuri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interleukin-6 (IL-6) serum levels and the proliferative activity of bone marrow plasma cells have been described as important prognostic factors for survival duration in multiple myeloma (MM) patients. Since growth of neoplastic plasma cells is frequently promoted by IL-6, inhibition of its activity has been considered for the management of MM patients. With a similar rationale, IL-6 variants characterized by wild-type or increased affinity for the ligand-specific IL-6 or receptor chain and reduced ability to bind and/or dimerize the gp 130 chain have recently been generated. In the present study, the antiproliferative effects of the variants Sant1, Sant5, and Sant7, characterized by increasing antagonistic activity, were investigated by means of a detailed cell kinetic and apoptotic analysis of the IL-6-dependent MM XG-1 cell line. A significant reduction in the mean percent of XG-1 cells in active S-phase (DNA/bromodeoxyuridine incorporation) from 41% to 28.1% (p = 0.04), 25.8% (p = 0.04), and 15.3% (p = 0.02), respectively, was observed using Sant1, Sant5, and Sant7. These effects were confirmed using the acridine-orange (AO) flow-cytometric technique, which showed a similar reduction of S-phase (34.2% of baseline value) in the presence of Sant1, Sant5, and Sant7, as well as a significant G(1b) arrest (from 44.5% to 47.6%, 48%, and 64.9%). Furthermore, IL-6 variants were capable of down-regulating the G1 cell cycle regulatory protein cyclin D1 expression. Cell cycle effects were coupled with a significant increase of apoptosis, measured by the AO and the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase assays, from 12.9% (control culture with IL-6) to 21.2% (Sant1), 29.1% (Sant5), and 23.5% (Sant7). These results were comparable to those obtained by depriving XG-1 of recombinant IL-6. Our study documents the antiproliferative activity exerted by IL-6 mutants on the XG-1 cell line, thus supporting the investigation of these molecules on primary MM cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-18
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999


  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Cell line
  • IL-6 variants
  • Multiple myeloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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