A variety of drugs targeting monoamine receptors are routinely used in human pharmacology. We assessed the effect of these drugs on the viability of tumor-initiating cells isolated from patients with glioblastoma. Among the drugs targeting monoamine receptors, we identified prazosin, an α1- and α2B-adrenergic receptor antagonist, as the most potent inducer of patient-derived glioblastoma-initiating cell death. Prazosin triggered apoptosis of glioblastoma-initiating cells and of their differentiated progeny, inhibited glioblastoma growth in orthotopic xenografts of patient-derived glioblastoma-initiating cells, and increased survival of glioblastoma-bearing mice. We found that prazosin acted in glioblastoma-initiating cells independently from adrenergic receptors. Its off-target activity occurred via a PKCδ-dependent inhibition of the AKT pathway, which resulted in caspase-3 activation. Blockade of PKCδ activation prevented all molecular changes observed in prazosin-treated glioblastoma-initiating cells, as well as prazosin-induced apoptosis. Based on these data, we conclude that prazosin, an FDA-approved drug for the control of hypertension, inhibits glioblastoma growth through a PKCδ-dependent mechanism. These findings open up promising prospects for the use of prazosin as an adjuvant therapy for glioblastoma patients.
Keywords: GL261; glioma; rottlerin; sh PKCδ; δV1.1.
© 2016 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.