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Apomine, a novel 1,1 bisphosphonate ester, increases the rate of degradation of HMG-CoA reductase, inhibiting the mevalonate pathway and thereby blocking cholesterol biosynthesis. We have investigated whether Apomine can induce myeloma cell apoptosis in vitro and modulate myeloma disease in vivo. Apomine induced a dose-dependent increase in apoptosis in NCI H929, RPMI 8226 and JJN-3 human myeloma cells. Apomine, unlike the bisphosphonate, alendronate, had no measurable effect on osteoclastic bone resorption in vitro. To investigate the effect of Apomine in vivo, 5T2MM murine myeloma cells were injected into C57BL/KaLwRij mice. After 8 weeks all animals had a serum paraprotein and were treated with Apomine (200 mg/kg), or vehicle, for 4 weeks. Animals injected with 5T2MM cells and treated with vehicle developed osteolytic bone lesions, reduced cancellous bone area, decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and increased osteoclast number. Apomine caused a decrease in serum paraprotein and a decrease in tumor burden. Apomine inhibited the development of osteolytic lesions and prevented the tumor-induced decreases in BMD. Apomine had no effect on osteoclast number in contrast to what had been seen previously with the bisphosphonate, zoledronic acid, suggesting that these are direct effects of Apomine on myeloma cells. This demonstrates that Apomine is able to promote myeloma cell apoptosis in vitro and inhibit the development of multiple myeloma and lytic bone disease in vivo. The use of bisphosphonate esters such as Apomine represents a novel therapeutic approach in the treatment of myeloma and, indirectly, the associated bone disease.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Cancer

Publication Date





1657 - 1663


Animals, Apoptosis, Bone Density, Bone Resorption, Diphosphonates, Humans, Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors, In Vitro Techniques, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Multiple Myeloma, Osteoclasts, Paraproteins, Tumor Cells, Cultured