Selective inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase-2 in the multiple myeloma-bone microenvironment

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Multiple myeloma is a plasma cell malignancy that homes aberrantly to bone causing extensive skeletal destruction. Despite the development of novel therapeutic agents that have significantly improved overall survival, multiple myeloma remains an incurable disease. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) is associated with cancer and is significantly overexpressed in the bone marrow of myeloma patients. These data provide rationale for selectively inhibiting MMP-2 activity as a multiple myeloma treatment strategy. Given that MMP-2 is systemically expressed, we used novel “bone-seeking” bisphosphonate based MMP-2 specific inhibitors (BMMPIs) to target the skeletal tissue thereby circumventing potential off-target effects of MMP-2 inhibition outside the bone marrow-tumor microenvironment. Using in vivo models of multiple myeloma (5TGM1, U266), we examined the impact of MMP-2 inhibition on disease progression using BMMPIs. Our data demonstrate that BMMPIs can decrease multiple myeloma burden and protect against cancer-induced osteolysis. Additionally, we have shown that MMP-2 can be specifically inhibited in the multiple myeloma-bone microenvironment, underscoring the feasibility of developing targeted and tissue selective MMP inhibitors. Given the well-tolerated nature of bisphosphonates in humans, we anticipate that BMMPIs could be rapidly translated to the clinical setting for the treatment of multiple myeloma.