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Identification of GSK3β inhibitor kenpaullone as a temozolomide enhancer against glioblastoma

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"Cancer stem cells are associated with chemoresistance and rapid recurrence of malignant tumors, including glioblastoma (GBM). Although temozolomide (TMZ) is the most effective drug treatment for GBM, GBM cells acquire resistance and become refractory to TMZ during treatment. Therefore, glioma stem cell (GSC)-targeted therapy and TMZ-enhancing therapy may be effective approaches to improve GBM prognosis. Many drugs that suppress the signaling pathways that maintain GSC or enhance the effects of TMZ have been reported. However, there are no established therapies beyond TMZ treatment currently in use. In this study, we screened drug libraries composed of 1,301 existing drugs using cell viability assays to evaluate effects on GSCs, which led to selection of kenpaullone, a kinase inhibitor, as a TMZ enhancer targeting GSCs. Kenpaullone efficiently suppressed activity of glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3β. Combination therapy with kenpaullone and TMZ suppressed stem cell phenotype and viability of both GSCs and glioma cell lines. Combination therapy in mouse models significantly prolonged survival time compared with TMZ monotherapy. Taken together, kenpaullone is a promising drug for treatment of GBM by targeting GSCs and overcoming chemoresistance to TMZ."

Note: If Kenpaullone  is not accessible Valproic Acid drug can also be used as it has glycogen synthase kinase (GSK) 3β inhibition properties.

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