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Gynecologic oncology

Inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin pathway by niclosamide: a therapeutic target for ovarian cancer.


PMID 24736023

Abstract

Objective. The Wnt/β-catenin pathway is known to regulate cellular proliferation and plays a role in chemoresistance. Niclosamide, an FDA approved salicyclamide derivative used for the treatment of tapeworm infections, targets the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Therefore, the objective of this study was to investigate niclosamide as a potential therapeutic agent for ovarian cancer. Methods. Tumor cells isolated from 34 patients' ascites with primary ovarian cancer were treated with niclosamide (0.1 to 5 μM) ± carboplatin (5 to 150 μM). Cell viability was assessed using the ATP-lite assay. LRP6, Axin 2, Cyclin D1, survivin and cytosolic free β-catenin levels were determined using Western blot analysis. Tumorspheres were treated, and Wnt transcriptional activity was measured by the TOPflash reporter assay. ALDH and CD133 were analyzed by Flow cytometry and IHC. ALDH1A1 and LRP6 were analyzed by IHC in solid tumor and in ascites before and after treatment with niclosamide. Results. Combination treatment produced increased cytotoxicity compared to single agent treatment in 32/34 patient samples. Western blot analysis showed a decrease in Wnt/β-catenin pathway proteins and the expression of target genes. A significant reduction of Wnt/β-catenin signaling was confirmed by TOPflash assay. There was increased staining of ALDH1A1 and LRP6 in ascites compared to solid tumor which decreased after treatment. Conclusion. This study demonstrates that niclosamide is a potent Wnt/β-catenin inhibitor. Targeting the Wnt/β-catenin pathway led to decreased cellular proliferation and increased cell death. These findings warrant further research of this drug and other niclosamide analogs as a treatment option for ovarian cancer.

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