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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 175-181

Quinacrine enhances temozolomide cytotoxicity in temozolomide-sensitive and -resistant glioblastoma cells

Department of Surgery, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Gilberto Ka Kit Leung
Department of Surgery, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/glioma.glioma_37_18

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Background: The alkylating agent temozolomide (TMZ) is widely used in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) therapy. Unfortunately, TMZ-resistance frequently occurs in recurrent GBM and is the major cause of treatment failure. The anti-malarial drug quinacrine (QC) harbors antitumor and chemosensitivity properties, but its interactions with TMZ in GBM remain unclear. This study aimed to investigate whether QC would sensitize TMZ in TMZ-sensitive and TMZ-resistant GBM cells as well as the underlying mechanisms. Materials and Methods: The cytotoxicity of QC and TMZ in TMZ-sensitive and TMZ-resistant GBM cells was evaluated using in vitro cell viability assay and colony formation assay. Cellular apoptosis and protein expression levels were determined using TUNEL assay and immunoblotting, respectively. Results: QC substantially enhanced TMZ cytotoxicity in both TMZ-sensitive and TMZ-resistant cells. Such cytotoxic effect was accompanied by changes in the expression levels of LC3II, p62 and cleaved caspase 3, and increased cellular apoptosis. The results suggested that QC could sensitize GBM cells to TMZ at least partially through apoptosis induction, in which autophagy inhibition might be involved. Conclusion: The antimalarial drug QC may hold promise as a potentiation of TMZ treatment in GBM, especially in cases of TMZ-resistance.

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