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Biomed Pharmacother 2024 May 01;174:116434. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2024.116434.
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Mebendazole preferentially inhibits cilia formation and exerts anticancer activity by synergistically augmenting DNA damage.

Hong J , Kwon KY , Jang DG , Kwon T , Yoon H , Park TJ .

The cilium is a microtubule-based organelle that plays a pivotal role in embryonic development and maintenance of physiological functions in the human body. In addition to their function as sensors that transduce diverse extracellular signals, including growth factors, fluid flow, and physical forces, cilia are intricately involved in cell cycle regulation and preservation of DNA integrity, as their formation and resorption dynamics are tightly linked to cell cycle progression. Recently, several studies have linked defects in specific ciliary proteins to the DNA damage response. However, it remains unclear whether and how primary cilia contribute to cancer development. Mebendazole (MBZ) is an anthelmintic drug with anticancer properties in some cancer cells. MBZ is continuously being tested for clinical studies, but the precise mechanism of its anticancer activities remains unknown. Here, using Xenopus laevis embryos as a model system, we discovered that MBZ significantly hinders cilia formation and induces DNA damage. Remarkably, primary cilium-bearing cancer cells exhibited heightened vulnerability to combined treatment with MBZ and conventional anticancer drugs. Our findings shed light on the specific influence of MBZ on cilia, rather than cytosolic microtubules, in triggering DNA damage, elucidating a previously unidentified mechanism underlying potential MBZ-mediated cancer therapy.

PubMed ID: 38513592
Article link: Biomed Pharmacother

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: arl13b atr calu chek1 h2ax
GO keywords: cell cycle [+]
Antibodies: Chek1 Ab2 Chek1 Ab3 H2afx Ab2 H3C1 Ab11 H3f3a Ab14 Tuba4a Ab4

Article Images: [+] show captions