A promising natural product in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma therapy by targeting PIM1

Xinyun Zhang, Qi Su, Yuchen Zhang, Rong Rong, Si Chen, Lexin He, Wenzhuo Zhuang*, Bingzong Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common and aggressive type of B-cell lymphoma. Unfortunately, about one-third of patients either relapse after the initial treatment or are refractory to first-line therapy, indicating a need for new treatment modalities. PIM serine/threonine kinases are proteins that are associated with genetic mutations, overexpression, or translocation events in B-cell lymphomas. We conducted an integrative analysis of whole-exome sequencing in 52 DLBCL patients, and no amplification, mutation, or translocation of the PIM1 gene was detected. Instead, analyses of TCGA and GTEx databases identified that PIM1 expression was increased in DLBCL samples compared to normal tissue, and high expression levels were associated with poor overall survival. Moreover, interference of PIM1 significantly suppressed DLBCL cell proliferation. In addition, we identified anwulignan, a natural small-molecule compound, as a PIM1 inhibitor. Anwulignan directly binds to PIM1 and exerts antitumor effects on DLBCL in vitro and in vivo by inducing apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and autophagic cell death. Furthermore, we identified an effective synergistic combination between anwulignan and chidamide. Our findings suggested that PIM1 could be a therapeutic target and prognostic factor for DLBCL, and anwulignan holds promise for future development as a natural product for treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • c-Myc
  • Natural small-molecule compound
  • PIM1


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