Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-8-2023


Diminazene aceturate (DIZE) is an FDA‐listed small molecule known for thetreatment of African sleeping sickness. In vivo studies showed that DIZE may bebeneficial for a range of human ailments. However, there is very limited informationon the effects of DIZE on human cancer cells. The current study aimed to investigatethe cytotoxic responses of DIZE, using the human carcinoma Hela cell line. WST‐1cell proliferation assay showed that DIZE inhibited the viability of Hela cells in adose‐dependent manner and the observed response was associated with thedownregulation of Ki67 and PCNA cell proliferation markers. DIZE‐treated cellsstained with acridine orange‐ethidium and JC‐10 dye revealed cell death and loss ofmitochondrial membrane potential (Ψm), compared with DMSO (vehicle) control,respectively. Cellular immunofluorescence staining of DIZE‐treated cells showedupregulation of caspase 3 activities. DIZE‐treated cells showed downregulation ofmRNA for G1/S genes CCNA2 and CDC25A, S‐phase genes MCM3 and PLK4, andG2/S phase transition/mitosis genes Aurka and PLK1. These effects were associatedwith decreased mRNA expression of Furin, c‐Myc, and FOXM1 oncogenes. Theseresults suggested that DIZE may be considered for its effects on other cancer types.To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate the effect of DIZE onhuman cervical cancer cells.



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