Fenbendazole acts as a moderate microtubule destabilizing agent and causes cancer cell death by modulating multiple cellular pathways
Drugs that are already clinically approved or experimentally tested for conditions other than cancer, but are found to possess previously unrecognized cytotoxicity towards malignant cells, may serve as ftting anti-cancer candidates. Methyl N-(6-phenylsulfanyl-1H benzimidazol-2-yl) carbamate [Fenbendazole, FZ], a benzimidazole compound, is a safe and inexpensive anthelmintic drug possessing an efcient anti-proliferative activity. In our earlier work, we reported a potent growth-inhibitory activity of FZ caused partially by impairment of proteasomal function. Here, we show that FZ demonstrates moderate afnity for mammalian tubulin and exerts cytotoxicity to human cancer cells at micromolar concentrations. Simultaneously, it caused mitochondrial translocation of p53 and efectively inhibited glucose uptake, expression of GLUT transporters as well as hexokinase (HK II) - a key glycolytic enzyme that most cancer cells thrive on. It blocked the growth of human xenografts in nu/nu mice model when mice were fed with the drug orally.