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01.12.2013 | Rapid Communication | Ausgabe 12/2013 Open Access

Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 12/2013

Repositioning of the anthelmintic drug mebendazole for the treatment for colon cancer

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology > Ausgabe 12/2013
Autoren:
Peter Nygren, Mårten Fryknäs, Bengt Ågerup, Rolf Larsson

Abstract

Purpose

In the present study, we screened a compound library containing 1,600 clinically used compounds with the aim to identify compounds, which potentially could be repositioned for colon cancer therapy.

Methods

Two established colon cancer cell lines were tested using the fluorometric microculture cytotoxicity assay (FMCA). For compound comparison connectivity map (CMAP) analysis, NCI 60 data mining and protein kinase binding measurements were performed.

Results

Sixty-eight compounds were defined as hits with activity in both of these cell lines (<40 % cell survival compared with control) at 10 μM drug concentration. Analysis of chemical similarity of the hit compounds revealed several distinct clusters, among them the antiparasitic benzimidazole group. Two of these compounds, mebendazole (MBZ) and albendazole (ABZ) are registered for human use. Data from the NCI 60 cell line panel revealed only modest correlation between MBZ and ABZ, indicating differences in mechanism of action. This was further supported when gene expression signatures were compared in the CMAP database; ABZ ranked very low when MBZ was used as the query signature. Furthermore, MBZ, but not ABZ, was found to significantly interact with several protein kinases including BCR–ABL and BRAF. Analysis of the diagnosis-specific activity of MBZ showed activity in 80 % of the colon cancer cell lines in the NCI 60 panel. Three additional colon cancer cell lines and three cell models with non-malignant phenotypes were subsequently tested, confirming selective colon cancer activity of MBZ.

Conclusion

MBZ seemingly has repositioning potential for colorectal cancer therapy.

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