Halting the FGF/FGFR axis leads to antitumor activity in Waldenström macroglobulinemia by silencing MYD88

Antonio Sacco, Cinzia Federico, Arianna Giacomini, Cinzia Caprio, Federica Maccarinelli, Katia Todoerti, Vanessa Favasuli, Antonella Anastasia, Marina Motta, Domenico Russo, Giuseppe Rossi, Nicole Bozza, Riccardo Castelli, Antonino Neri, Roberto Ronca, Chiara Cattaneo, Alessandra Tucci, Marco Mor, Marco Presta, Aldo M. Roccaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The human fibroblast growth factor/fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGF/FGFR) axis deregulation is largely involved in supporting the pathogenesis of hematologic malignancies, including Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM). WM is still an incurable disease, and patients succumb because of disease progression. Therefore, novel therapeutics designed to specifically target deregulated signaling pathways in WM are required. We aimed to investigate the role of FGF/FGFR system blockade in WM by using a pan-FGF trap molecule (NSC12). Wide-transcriptome profiling confirmed inhibition of FGFR signaling in NSC12-treated WM cells; unveiling a significant inhibition of MYD88 was also confirmed at the protein level. Importantly, the NSC12-dependent silencing of MYD88 was functionally active, as it led to inhibition of MYD88-driven pathways, such as BTK and SYK, as well as the MYD88-downstream target HCK. Of note, both canonical and noncanonical NF-κB cascades were downregulated in WM cells upon NSC12 treatment. Functional sequelae exerted by NSC12 in WM cells were studied, demonstrating significant inhibition of WM cell growth, induction of WM cell apoptosis, halting MAPK, JAK/STAT3, and PI3K-Akt pathways. Importantly, NSC12 exerted an anti-WM effect even in the presence of bone marrow microenvironment, both in vitro and in vivo. Our studies provide the evidence for using NSC12 as a specific FGF/FGFR system inhibitor, thus representing a novel therapeutic strategy in WM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2495-2508
Number of pages14
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - May 6 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Halting the FGF/FGFR axis leads to antitumor activity in Waldenström macroglobulinemia by silencing MYD88'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this