Memantine induces apoptosis and inhibits cell cycle progression in LNCaP prostate cancer cells

Albayrak G., Konac E. , Dikmen A. U. , Bilen C. Y.

HUMAN & EXPERIMENTAL TOXICOLOGY, vol.37, pp.953-958, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0960327117747025
  • Page Numbers: pp.953-958


Deregulated cancer cell metabolism plays an important role in cancer progression. Cancer cell metabolism has been in the centre of attention in therapeutical cancer cell targeting. Repurposed chemical agents, such as metformin and aspirin, have been studied extensively as preventive and therapeutic agents. Metformin is Food and Drug administration (FDA)-approved antidiabetic drug cheaper than other chemotherapeutic agents that were shown to have anticancer effects. Memantine is an FDA-approved Alzheimer's drug. Drug repositioning studies offer wide range of benefits, such as reduced time, cost and risk over de novo drug discovery. Therefore, we aimed to target glucose and glutamine metabolism in androgen-dependent LNCaP cells by using metformin and memantine and investigate these agents' effects on prostate cancer cell proliferation in vitro. We evaluated the effects of metformin and memantine on the protein expression levels of genes that play significant roles in apoptosis and cell cycle progression (Casp3, Casp9, Bcl-2, Survivin, Bax, c-Myc, HIF1A, CCND1, CDK4 and GAPDH) by Western blotting. Alzheimer's drug memantine exerted cytotoxic effects at 0.25 mM and metformin at 2.5 mM. We identified for the first time that memantine exerts antineoplastic activity (0.25 mM) by triggering Bax-dependent pathway of apoptosis. In addition to that both molecules have shown similar patterns on pro- and anti-apoptotic protein expression levels, such as Bcl-2, Casp3, Survivin and Bax. Our preclinic results indicate that memantine might be used as a new repositioned drug in cancer treatment. Beyond targeting glucose metabolism, glutamine metabolism also holds great promise for a potential treatment option.