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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 696107, 10 pages
Research Article

Induction of Apoptosis in Human Multiple Myeloma Cell Lines by Ebselen via Enhancing the Endogenous Reactive Oxygen Species Production

Cancer Center, Research Institute of Surgery, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, 10 Changjiang Zhi Road, Daping Yuzhong District, Chongqing 400042, China

Received 26 April 2013; Revised 10 October 2013; Accepted 10 October 2013; Published 27 January 2014

Academic Editor: Xin-yuan Guan

Copyright © 2014 Liang Zhang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ebselen a selenoorganic compound showing glutathione peroxidase like activity is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidative agent. Its cytoprotective activity has been investigated in recent years. However, experimental evidence also shows that ebselen causes cell death in several cancer cell types whose mechanism has not yet been elucidated. In this study, we examined the effect of ebselen on multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines in vitro. The results showed that ebselen significantly enhanced the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) accompanied by cell viability decrease and apoptosis rate increase. Further studies revealed that ebselen can induce Bax redistribution from the cytosol to mitochondria leading to mitochondrial membrane potential ΔΨm changes and cytochrome C release from the mitochondria to cytosol. Furtherly, we found that exogenous addition of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) completely diminished the cell damage induced by ebselen. This result suggests that relatively high concentration of ebselen can induce MM cells apoptosis in culture by enhancing the production of endogenous ROS and triggering mitochondria mediated apoptotic pathway.