Drug screening identifies niclosamide as an inhibitor of breast cancer stem-like cells.
ABSTRACT: The primary cause of death from breast cancer is the progressive growth of tumors and resistance to conventional therapies. It is currently believed that recurrent cancer is repopulated according to a recently proposed cancer stem cell hypothesis. New therapeutic strategies that specifically target cancer stem-like cells may represent a new avenue of cancer therapy. We aimed to discover novel compounds that target breast cancer stem-like cells. We used a dye-exclusion method to isolate side population (SP) cancer cells and, subsequently, subjected these SP cells to a sphere formation assay to generate SP spheres (SPS) from breast cancer cell lines. Surface markers, stemness genes, and tumorigenicity were used to test stem properties. We performed a high-throughput drug screening using these SPS. The effects of candidate compounds were assessed in vitro and in vivo. We successfully generated breast cancer SPS with stem-like properties. These SPS were enriched for CD44(high) (2.8-fold) and CD24(low) (4-fold) cells. OCT4 and ABCG2 were overexpressed in SPS. Moreover, SPS grew tumors at a density of 10(3), whereas an equivalent number of parental cells did not initiate tumor formation. A clinically approved drug, niclosamide, was identified from the LOPAC chemical library of 1,258 compounds. Niclosamide downregulated stem pathways, inhibited the formation of spheroids, and induced apoptosis in breast cancer SPS. Animal studies also confirmed this therapeutic effect. The results of this proof-of-principle study may facilitate the development of new breast cancer therapies in the near future. The extension of niclosamide clinical trials is warranted.
Project description:The recent identification of "side population" (SP) cells in a number of unrelated human cancers and their normal tissue sources has renewed interest in the hypothesis that cancers may arise from somatic stem/progenitor cells. The high incidence of recurrence attributable to multidrug resistance and the multiple histologic phenotypes indicative of multipotency suggests a stem cell-like etiology of ovarian cancer. Here we identify and characterize SP cells from two distinct genetically engineered mouse ovarian cancer cell lines. Differential efflux of the DNA-binding dye Hoechst 33342 from these cell lines defined a human breast cancer-resistance protein 1-expressing, verapamil-sensitive SP of candidate cancer stem cells. In vivo, mouse SP cells formed measurable tumors sooner than non-SP (NSP) cells when equal numbers were injected into the dorsal fat pad of nude mice. The presence of Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS) signaling pathway transduction molecules in both SP and NSP mouse cells led us to investigate the efficacy of MIS against these populations in comparison with traditional chemotherapies. MIS inhibited the proliferation of both SP and NSP cells, whereas the lipophilic chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin more significantly inhibited the NSP cells. Finally, we identified breast cancer-resistance protein 1-expressing verapamil-sensitive SPs in three of four human ovarian cancer cell lines and four of six patient primary ascites cells. In the future, individualized therapy must incorporate analysis of the stem cell-like subpopulation of ovarian cancer cells when designing therapeutic strategies for ovarian cancer patients.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The expression of side-population (SP) cells and their relation to tumour-initiating cells (T-ICs) have been insufficiently studied in breast cancer (BC). We therefore evaluated primary cell cultures derived from patients and a panel of human BC cell lines with luminal- or basal-molecular signatures for the presence of SP and BC stem cell markers.<h4>Methods</h4>The SPs from luminal-type BC were analysed for BC T-IC characteristics, including human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), ERalpha, IGFBP7 expression and their ability to initiate tumours in non-obese diabetic severe combined immunodeficiency (NOD/SCID) mice. Pharmacological modulators were used to assess the effects of HER2 signalling and breast cancer-resistance protein (BCRP) expression on SPs.<h4>Results</h4>The SP was more prevalent in the luminal subtype of BC compared with the basal subtype. HER2 expression was significantly correlated with the occurrence of an SP (r(2)=0.75, P=0.0003). Disappearance of SP in the presence of Ko143, a specific inhibitor of the ATP-binding cassette transporter BCRP, suggests that BCRP is the predominant transporter expressed in this population. The SP also decreased in the presence of HER2 signalling inhibitors AG825 or trastuzumab, strengthening the notion that HER2 contributed to the SP phenotype, likely through downstream AKT signalling. The SP cells from luminal-type MCF-7 cells with enforced expression of HER2, and primary cells with luminal-like properties from a BC patient, displayed enrichment in cells capable of repopulating tumours in NOD/SCID mice. Engraftment of SP cells was inhibited by pretreatment with AG825 or by in vivo treatment with trastuzumab.<h4>Interpretation</h4>Our findings indicate an important role of HER2 in regulating SP and hence T-ICs in BC, which may account for the poor responsiveness of HER2-positive BCs to chemotherapy, as well as their aggressiveness.
Project description:The microenvironment of breast cancer comprises predominantly of adipocytes. Adipocytes drive cancer progression through the secretion adipocytokines. Adipocytes induce epithelial mesenchymal transition of breast cancer cells through paracrine IL-6/Stat3 signalling. Treatment approaches that can target adipocytes in the microenvironment and abrogate paracrine signals that drive breast cancer growth and metastasis are urgently needed. Repositioning of old drugs has become an effective approach for discovering new cancer drugs. In this study, niclosamide, an FDA approved anthelminthic drug was evaluated for its anti-breast cancer activity and its ability to inhibit adipocytes induced EMT. Niclosamide potently inhibited proliferation, migration and invasion at low concentration and induced significant apoptosis at high concentrations in human breast cancer cell lines MDA-MB-468 and MCF-7. Additionally, niclosamide reversed adipocyte-induced EMT with a correlated inhibition of IL-6/Stat3 activation and downregulation of EMT-TFs TWIST and SNAIL. Moreover, niclosamide markedly impaired MDA-MB-468 and MCF-7 migration and invasion. We further found that the inhibitory effects of niclosamide on MDA-MB-468 and MCF-7 motility was closely related to destabilization of focal adhesion complex formation. With decreased co-localization of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and phosphorylated paxillin (pPAX). Collectively, these results demonstrate that niclosamide could be used to inhibit adipocyte-induced breast cancer growth and metastasis.
Project description:Basal-like breast cancers (BLBC) are poorly differentiated and display aggressive clinical behavior. These tumors become resistant to cytotoxic agents, and tumor relapse has been attributed to the presence of cancer stem cells (CSC). One of the pathways involved in CSC regulation is the Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway. LRP6, a Wnt ligand receptor, is one of the critical elements of this pathway and could potentially be an excellent therapeutic target. Niclosamide has been shown to inhibit the Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway by causing degradation of LRP6. TRA-8, a monoclonal antibody specific to TRAIL death receptor 5, is cytotoxic to BLBC cell lines and their CSC-enriched populations. The goal of this study was to examine whether niclosamide is cytotoxic to BLBCs, specifically the CSC population, and if in combination with TRA-8 could produce increased cytotoxicity. Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) is a known marker of CSCs. By testing BLBC cells for ALDH expression by flow cytometry, we were able to isolate a nonadherent population of cells that have high ALDH expression. Niclosamide showed cytotoxicity against these nonadherent ALDH-expressing cells in addition to adherent cells from four BLBC cell lines: 2LMP, SUM159, HCC1187, and HCC1143. Niclosamide treatment produced reduced levels of LRP6 and ?-catenin, which is a downstream Wnt/?-catenin signaling protein. The combination of TRA-8 and niclosamide produced additive cytotoxicity and a reduction in Wnt/?-catenin activity. Niclosamide in combination with TRA-8 suppressed growth of 2LMP orthotopic tumor xenografts. These results suggest that niclosamide or congeners of this agent may be useful for the treatment of BLBC.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Side population (SP) cells and their relationship to stem cell-like properties have been insufficiently studied in colorectal cancer (CRC). MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have attracted much attention but their roles in the maintenance of SP phenotype remain unclear.<h4>Methods</h4>The SPs from CRC cell lines and primary cell cultures were analysed for stem cell-like properties. MiRNA microarray analysis identified miR-328 as a potential stemness miRNA of SP phenotype. The level of miR-328 expression in clinical samples and its correlation with SP fraction were determined. Gain-of-function and loss-of-function studies were performed to examine its roles in cancer stem-like SP cells. Furthermore, bioinformatics prediction and experimental validation were used to identify miR-328 target genes.<h4>Results</h4>The SP cells sorted from CRC possess cancer stem cell (CSC)-like properties, including self-renewal, differentiation, resistance to chemotherapy, invasive and strong tumour formation ability. MiR-328 expression was significantly reduced in SP cells compared with Non-SP cells (P<0.05). Moreover, miR-328 expression was downregulated in CRC (n=33, P<0.05) and low miR-328 expression tend to correlate with high SP fraction (n=15, r=0.6559, P<0.05, Pearson's correlation). Functional studies indicated that miR-328 expression affects the number of SP cells. In addition, miR-328 overexpression reversed drug resistance and inhibited cell invasion of SP cells. Furthermore, luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that miR-328 directly targets ABCG2 and MMP16 and affects the levels of mRNA and protein expression in SP cells.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These findings indicate that CRC contain cancer stem-like SP cells. MiR-328 has an important role in maintaining cancer stem-like SP phenotype that may be a potential target for effective CRC therapy.
Project description:Mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling is frequently dysregulated in cancer. Inhibition of mTORC1 is thus regarded as a promising strategy in the treatment of tumors with elevated mTORC1 activity. We have recently identified niclosamide (a Food and Drug Administration-approved antihelminthic drug) as an inhibitor of mTORC1 signaling. In the present study, we explored possible mechanisms by which niclosamide may inhibit mTORC1 signaling. We tested whether niclosamide interferes with signaling cascades upstream of mTORC1, the catalytic activity of mTOR, or mTORC1 assembly. We found that niclosamide does not impair PI3K/Akt signaling, nor does it inhibit mTORC1 kinase activity. We also found that niclosamide does not interfere with mTORC1 assembly. Previous studies in helminths suggest that niclosamide disrupts pH homeostasis of the parasite. This prompted us to investigate whether niclosamide affects the pH balance of cancer cells. Experiments in both breast cancer cells and cell-free systems demonstrated that niclosamide possesses protonophoric activity in cells and in vitro. In cells, niclosamide dissipated protons (down their concentration gradient) from lysosomes to the cytosol, effectively lowering cytoplasmic pH. Notably, analysis of five niclosamide analogs revealed that the structural features of niclosamide required for protonophoric activity are also essential for mTORC1 inhibition. Furthermore, lowering cytoplasmic pH by means other than niclosamide treatment (e.g. incubation with propionic acid or bicarbonate withdrawal) recapitulated the inhibitory effects of niclosamide on mTORC1 signaling, lending support to a possible role for cytoplasmic pH in the control of mTORC1. Our data illustrate a potential mechanism for chemical inhibition of mTORC1 signaling involving modulation of cytoplasmic pH.
Project description:Based on functional studies in the bone marrow, it has been suggested that the ability to efflux Hoechst 33342 may represent a universal stem cell trait. In this phenotypic and functional characterization of the Hoechst side population (SP) in adult murine epidermis, we demonstrate that these cells are a rare subset of the keratinocyte stem cell-enriched alpha(6)(bri)CD71(dim) fraction comprising SSC(low)/K14(+)/CD34(-)/Oil red O(-)/c-kit(-)/CD45(-) keratinocytes. Epidermal SPs have the smallest cell and nuclear size but exhibit the highest nuclear-to-cytoplasmic ratio of any fraction examined, consistent with a primitive cell type. Although SPs demonstrated poor cumulative in vitro proliferative output, they exhibited sustained epidermal tissue-regenerative activity in vivo compared with unfractionated and non-SP cells. Collectively, these results indicate that the epidermal SP contains the most potent keratinocyte stem cell population in skin epithelium.
Project description:Signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 3 (STAT-3) is known to be overexpressed in cancer stem cells. Poor solubility and variable drug absorption are linked to low bioavailability and decreased efficacy. Many of the drugs regulating STAT-3 expression lack aqueous solubility; hence hindering efficient bioavailability. A theranostics nanoplatform based on luminescent carbon particles decorated with cucurbituril is introduced for enhancing the solubility of niclosamide, a STAT-3 inhibitor. The host-guest chemistry between cucurbituril and niclosamide makes the delivery of the hydrophobic drug feasible while carbon nanoparticles enhance cellular internalization. Extensive physicochemical characterizations confirm successful synthesis. Subsequently, the host-guest chemistry of niclosamide and cucurbituril is studied experimentally and computationally. In vitro assessments in human breast cancer cells indicate approximately twofold enhancement in IC50 of drug. Fourier transform infrared and fluorescence imaging demonstrate efficient cellular internalization. Furthermore, the catalytic biodegradation of the nanoplatforms occur upon exposure to human myeloperoxidase in short time. In vivo studies on athymic mice with MCF-7 xenograft indicate the size of tumor in the treatment group is half of the controls after 40 d. Immunohistochemistry corroborates the downregulation of STAT-3 phosphorylation. Overall, the host-guest chemistry on nanocarbon acts as a novel arsenal for STAT-3 inhibition.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Sulfated Polysaccharides (SPs) possess spectrum of pharmacological and therapeutic properties that could attributed to their origins variation, chemical structures and biological activities. Various studies have shown the impact of SPs on proliferation in different cancer cell lines. OBJECTIVES:In this study, we have evaluated the biological effects of ?-carrageenan, a highly SP, extracted from the red seaweed Laurencia papillosa, on MDA-MB-231 cancer cell line. MATERIALS AND METHODS:MDA-MB-231 cells have treated with ?-carrageenan, the viability and apoptosis have assessed by the appropriate florescent probes on flow cytometer. The expression levels of mRNA of apoptotic genes have detected by real-time PCR analysis. RESULTS:Our results have indicated that the signaling pathway of ?-carrageenan inhibited the proliferation of MDA-MB-231 cells by up-regulating the pro-apoptotic genes caspase-8, caspase-9, caspase-3 which have been resulting the increased levels of active caspase-3 protein. Furthermore, This SP had that capacity to disrupt the mitochondrial function by altering the bax/bcl-2 ratio of expression which has considered an important element in apoptosis induction. CONCLUSIONS:The presented results have signposted that ?-carrageenan was a promising bioactive polymer which could be a potential candidate in preventing or treating breast cancer.
Project description:Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is one of the most difficult breast cancers to treat because there is no targeted treatment, and conventional cytotoxic chemotherapy followed by adjuvant radiation therapy is the standard of care for patients with TNBC. We herein reported that ionizing radiation (IR) induced Wnt3a, LRP6 and ?-catenin expression and consequently activated Wnt/?-catenin signaling in TNBC MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468 and Hs578T cells. Moreover, depletion of ?-catenin by shRNA sensitized TNBC cells to IR, whereas treatment of Wnt3a protein or overexpression of ?-catenin resulted in radioresistance of TNBC cells. Niclosamide, a potent inhibitor of Wnt/?-catenin signaling, not only inhibited constitutive Wnt/?-catenin signaling, but also blocked IR-induced Wnt/?-catenin signaling in TNBC cells. In addition, niclosamide sensitized TNBC cells to IR, prevented Wnt3a-induced radioresistance, and overcame ?-catenin-induced radioresistance in TNBC cells. Importantly, animals treated with the combination of niclosamide and ?-ray local tumor irradiation had significant inhibition of MDA-MB-231 tumor growth compared with treated with local tumor irradiation alone. These findings indicate that Wnt/?-catenin signaling pathway plays an important role in the development of radioresistance of TNBC cells, and that niclosamide had significant radiosensitizing effects by inhibiting Wnt/?-catenin signaling in TNBC cells. Our study also provides rationale for further preclinical and clinical evaluation of niclosamide in TNBC management.