Journal Article

Male contraceptive Adjudin is a potential anti-cancer drug

Adjudin, also known as AF-2364 and an analog of lonidamine (LND), is a male contraceptive acting through the induction of premature sperm depletion from the seminiferous epithelium when orally administered to adult rats, rabbits or dogs. It is also known that LND can target mitochondria and block energy metabolism in tumor cells. However, whether Adjudin exhibits any anti-cancer activity remains to be elucidated. Herein we described the anti-proliferative activity of Adjudin on cancer cells in vitro and on lung and prostate tumors inoculated in nude mice. We found that Adjudin induced apoptosis in cancer cells through a Caspase-3-dependent pathway. Further experiments revealed that Adjudin could trigger mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer cells, apparently affecting the mitochondrial mass, inducing the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and reducing cellular ATP levels. Intraperitoneal administration of Adjudin to tumor-bearing athymic nude mice also significantly suppressed the lung and prostate tumor growth. When used in combination with cisplatin, Adjudin enhances the sensitivity to cisplatin-induced cancer cell cytotoxicity. Taken together, these findings have demonstrated that Adjudin may be a potential drug for cancer therapy.