Experimental and therapeutic medicine

Anthelmintic drug albendazole arrests human gastric cancer cells at the mitotic phase and induces apoptosis.

PMID 28352336


As microtubules have a vital function in the cell cycle, oncologists have developed microtubule inhibitors capable of preventing uncontrolled cell division, as in the case of cancer. The anthelmintic drug albendazole (ABZ) has been demonstrated to inhibit hepatocellular, ovarian and prostate cancer cells via microtubule targeting. However, its activity against human gastric cancer (GC) cells has remained to be determined. In the present study, ABZ was used to treat GC cells (MKN-45, SGC-7901 and MKN-28). A a CCK-8 cell proliferation assay was performed to assess the effects of ABZ on cell viability and cell cycle changes were assessed using flow cytometry. SGC-7901 cells were selected for further study, and flow cytometry was employed to determine the apoptotic rate, immunofluorescence analysis was employed to show changes of the microtubule structure as well as the subcellular localization and expression levels of cyclin B1, and western blot analysis was used to identify the dynamics of microtubule assembly. The expression levels of relevant proteins, including cyclin B1 and Cdc2, the two subunits of mitosis-promoting factor as well as apoptosis-asociated proteins were also assessed by western blot analysis. The results showed that ABZ exerted its anti-cancer activity in GC cell lines by disrupting microtubule formation and function to cause mitotic arrest, which is also associated with the accumulation of cyclin B1, and consequently induces apoptosis.