Cancer stem cells are surging as important targets to prevent drug resistance and metastasis in cancer progression. Several studies have used mitochondria to try to disrupt their viability. Here, human breast cancer cell lines were used to investigate the efficiency of doxycycline inhibition of mitochondrial biogenesis in breast cancer stem cells. The results showed that doxycycline decreased the number of ALDH+ breast cancer stem cells, both in normal and paclitaxel-induced enrichment conditions, and inhibited mammosphere formation of different types of breast cancer cells. Moreover, there were low levels of reactive oxygen species in doxycycline-treated cancer cells and lower activation of their downstream signalling pathway. Consequently, direct inhibition of downstream effectors of doxycycline signalling could replicate the effects of the drug in decreasing the number of ALDH+ breast cancer stem cells. Overall, the researchers report the anti-cancer stem cell activity of an FDA-approved drug that could be used concomitantly with other chemotherapeutic strategies to limit the effects of cancer stem cells.
Doxycycline targets aldehyde dehydrogenase‑positive breast cancer stem cells
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