The nuclear export protein chromosomal region maintenance 1 (CRM1) may play a role in human neoplasia and serve as a novel target for cancer treatment. Investigators recently developed orally bioavailable selective inhibitors of nuclear export (SINEs) that irreversibly bind to CRM1 and block its function. Our objective was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of the novel SINEs KPT-185 and KPT-276 against NHL in vitro and in vivo and elucidate the mechanism of CRM1 inhibitor-mediated antitumor activity.


Cell viability, apoptosis and cell cycle were evaluated in 8 B and T cell lymphoma cell lines (Jeko-1, Mino, Granta519, Sp53, RL, Hut102, Hut78 and Jurkat) which were treated with KPT-185; Primary tumor cells from 5 patients and normal human lymphocytes from 2 healthy volunteers were treated directly with KPT-185. Tumor suppressor proteins were detected by western blot to explore the possible mechanisms of KPT-185 inducing lymphoma cells growth inhibition and apoptosis. BALB/c nude mice bearing Jeko-1 tumors were treated orally with KPT-276 (similar structure to KPT-185, but improved animal pharmacokinetics) to examine the efficacy and side-effects of KPT-276.


KPT-185 displayed potent antiproliferative properties at submicromolar concentrations (half-maximal inhibitory concentrations, 60-120 nM) and induced cell-cycle arrest and apoptosis in NHL cell lines and normal lymphocytes. The antitumor activity mainly consisted of regulating cell growth and apoptosis mechanisms by inducing caspase cleavage and downregulating the expression of antiapoptotic proteins such as CRM1, nuclear factor-kB, and survivin. Furthermore, oral administration of KPT-276 significantly suppressed tumor growth and prolonged survival in mice with NHL xenografts without any major toxic effects (P < 0.001). Analysis of tumor remnants in the mice demonstrated that KPT-276 trapped the antiapoptoic protein survivin within the nuclei of NHL cells.


We observed the biologic and pharmacologic activity of CRM1-inhibiting SINEs in NHL cells, primary NHL tumor samples, and a murine NHL xenograft model. SINE CRM1 inhibitors inhibited growth of lymphoma cells both in vitro and in vivo. The antitumor activity of the SINEs resulted primarily from induction of caspase activity and downregulation of expression of antiapoptoic proteins such as survivin and NF-kB. The preclinical in vitro and in vivo results reported herein support further study of CRM1-inhibiting SINEs as novel therapeutics for NHL.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.