Inhibition of Mitochondrial Antioxidant Defense and CDK4/6 in Mesothelioma

Molecules. 2023 May 27;28(11):4380. doi: 10.3390/molecules28114380.


Advanced mesothelioma is considered an incurable disease and new treatment strategies are needed. Previous studies have demonstrated that mitochondrial antioxidant defense proteins and the cell cycle may contribute to mesothelioma growth, and that the inhibition of these pathways may be effective against this cancer. We demonstrated that the antioxidant defense inhibitor auranofin and the cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 inhibitor palbociclib could decrease mesothelioma cell proliferation alone or in combination. In addition, we determined the effects of these compounds on colony growth, cell cycle progression, and the expression of key antioxidant defense and cell cycle proteins. Auranofin and palbociclib were effective in decreasing cell growth and inhibiting the above-described activity across all assays. Further study of this drug combination will elucidate the contribution of these pathways to mesothelioma activity and may reveal a new treatment strategy.

Keywords: antioxidant; cell cycle; cyclin; cyclin-dependent kinase; mesothelioma; mitochondria.

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Auranofin / pharmacology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4
  • Humans
  • Mesothelioma* / drug therapy
  • Mesothelioma, Malignant*
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Auranofin
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase 4
  • Protein Kinase Inhibitors
  • CDK4 protein, human