Effect of niclosamide on basal-like breast cancers

Academic Article


  • Basal-like breast cancers (BLBC) are poorly differentiated and display aggressive clinical behavior. These tumors become resistant to cytotoxic agents, and tumor relapse has been attributed to the presence of cancer stem cells (CSC). One of the pathways involved in CSC regulation is the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. LRP6, a Wnt ligand receptor, is one of the critical elements of this pathway and could potentially be an excellent therapeutic target. Niclosamide has been shown to inhibit the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway by causing degradation of LRP6. TRA-8, a monoclonal antibody specific to TRAIL death receptor 5, is cytotoxic to BLBC cell lines and their CSC-enriched populations. The goal of this study was to examine whether niclosamide is cytotoxic to BLBCs, specifically the CSCpopulation, and if in combination with TRA-8 could produce increased cytotoxicity. Aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) is a known marker of CSCs. By testing BLBC cells for ALDH expression by flow cytometry, we were able to isolate a nonadherent population of cells that have high ALDH expression. Niclosamide showed cytotoxicity against these nonadherent ALDH-expressing cells in addition to adherent cells from four BLBC cell lines: 2LMP, SUM159, HCC1187, and HCC1143. Niclosamide treatment produced reduced levels of LRP6 and β-catenin, which is a downstream Wnt/β-catenin signaling protein. The combination of TRA-8 and niclosamide produced additive cytotoxicity and a reduction in Wnt/β-catenin activity. Niclosamide in combination with TRA-8 suppressed growth of 2LMP orthotopic tumor xenografts. These results suggest that niclosamide or congeners of this agent may be useful for the treatment of BLBC. Mol Cancer Ther; 13(4); 800-11. © 2014 AACR.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Londoño-Joshi AI; Arend RC; Aristizabal L; Lu W; Samant RS; Metge BJ; Hidalgo B; Grizzle WE; Conner M; Forero-Torres A
  • Start Page

  • 800
  • End Page

  • 811
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 4