Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.484, No.2, 416-421, 2017
Anthelminthic drug niclosamide sensitizes the responsiveness of cervical cancer cells to paclitaxel via oxidative stress-mediated mTOR inhibition
Drug repurposing represents an alternative therapeutic strategy to cancer treatment. The potent anticancer activities of a FDA-approved anthelminthic drug niclosamide have been demonstrated in various cancers. However, whether niclosamide is active against cervical cancer is unknown. In this study, we investigated the effects of niclosamide alone and its combination with paclitaxel in cervical cancer in vitro and in vivo. We found that niclosamide significantly inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis of a panel of cervical cancer cell lines, regardless of their cellular origin and genetic pattern. Niclosamide also inhibited tumor growth in cervical cancer xenograft mouse model. Importantly, niclosamide significantly enhanced the responsiveness of cervical cancer cell to paclitaxel. We further found that niclosamide induced mitochondrial dysfunctions via inhibiting mitochondrial respiration, complex I activity and ATP generation, which led to oxidative stress. ROS scavenge agent N-acetyl-Lcysteine (NAC) completely reversed the effects of niclosamide in increasing cellular ROS, inhibiting proliferation and inducing apoptosis, suggesting that oxidative stress induction is the mechanism of action of niclosamide in cervical cancer cells. In addition, niclosamide significantly inhibited mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling pathway in cervical cancer cells and its inhibitory effect on mTOR is modulated by oxidative stress. Our work suggests that niclosamide is a useful addition to the treatment armamentarium for cervical cancer and induction of oxidative stress may be a potential therapeutic strategy in cervical cancer. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.