Women with triple-negative breast cancer have worse prognosis compared to other breast cancer subtypes. Acquired drug resistance remains to be an important reason influencing triple-negative breast cancer treatment efficacy. A prevailing theory postulates that the cancer resistance and recurrence results from a subpopulation of tumor cells with stemness program, which are often insensitive to cytotoxic drugs such as cisplatin. Recent studies suggested that niclosamide, an anti-helminthic drug, has potential therapeutic activities against breast cancer stem cells, which prompts us to determine its roles on eliminating cisplatin-resistant cancer cells. Hence, we established a stable cisplatin-resistant MDA-MB-231 cell line (231-CR) through continuously exposure to increasing concentrations of cisplatin (5-20 µmol/l). Interestingly, 231-CR exhibited properties associated to epithelial-mesenchymal transition with enhanced invasion, preserved proliferation, increased mammosphere formation, and reduced apoptosis compared to naive MDA-MB-231 sensitive cells (231-CS). Importantly, niclosamide or combination with cisplatin inhibited both 231-CS and 231-CR cell proliferation in vitro. In addition, niclosamide reversed the EMT phenotype of 231-CR by downregulation of snail and vimentin. Mechanistically, niclosamide treatment in combination with or without cisplatin significantly inhibited Akt, ERK, and Src signaling pathways. In vivo study showed that niclosamide or combination with cisplatin could repress the growth of xenografts originated from either 231-CS or 231-CR cells, with prominent suppression of Ki67 expression. These findings suggested that niclosamide might serve as a novel therapeutic strategy, either alone or in combination with cisplatin, for triple-negative breast cancer treatment, especially those resistant to cisplatin.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s13277-015-4650-1
View details for Web of Science ID 000382174500134
View details for PubMedID 26810188