Mefloquine induces cell death in prostate cancer cells and provides a potential novel treatment strategy in vivo

Kun Huang Yan, Yung Wei Lin, Chi Hao Hsiao, Yu-Ching Wen, Ke Hsun Lin, Chung Chi Liu, Mao-Chih Hsieh, Chih Jung Yao, Ming De Yan, Gi Ming Lai, Shuang En Chuang, Liang Ming Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Mefloquine (MQ) is currently in clinical use as a prophylactic treatment for malaria. Previous studies have shown that MQ induces oxidative stress in vitro. The present study investigated the anticancer effects of MQ treatment in PC3 cells. The cell viability was evaluated using sulphorhodamine-B (SRB) staining, while annexin V and propidium iodide (PI) were used as an assay for cell death. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation was detected with 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein-diacetate (DCFH-DA), a sensitive intracellular probe, and the alteration of cellular status was defined by trypan blue staining. The results of the present study indicated that MQ has a high cytotoxicity that causes cell death in PC3 cells. MQ markedly inhibited the PC3 cells through nonapoptotic cell death. MQ also induced significant ROS production. The MQ treatment mediated G1 cell cycle arrest and cyclin D1 accumulation through p21 upregulation in the PC3 cells. Moreover, the use of MQ improved the survival of the treatment group compared with the control group in the experimental mice. The present study indicates that MQ possesses potential therapeutic efficacy for the treatment of prostate cancer (PCa) in vivo. These findings provide insights that may aid the further optimization and application of new and existing therapeutic options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1567-1571
Number of pages5
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Glutathione
  • Mefloquine
  • Prostate cancer
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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