Resistance to chemotherapy is a great challenge to improving the survival of patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), especially those with activated B-cell-like DLBCL (ABC-DLBCL). Therefore it is urgent to search for novel agents for the treatment of DLBCL. Gambogic acid (GA), a small molecule derived from Chinese herb gamboges, has been approved for Phase II clinical trial for cancer therapy by Chinese FDA. In the present study, we investigated the effect of GA on cell survival and apoptosis in DLBCL cells including both GCB- and ABC-DLBCL cells. We found that GA induced growth inhibition and apoptosis of both GCB- and ABC-DLBCL cells in vitro and in vivo, which is associated with proteasome malfunction. These findings provide significant pre-clinical evidence for potential usage of GA in DLBCL therapy particularly in ABC-DLBCL treatment.
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