Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

Cocktail & Poster Display session

62P - Anti-malarial drug quinacrine: A potential molecule for repurposing in targeting human non-small cell lung cancer cells (NSCLC)


06 Mar 2023


Cocktail & Poster Display session




Annals of Oncology (2023) 8 (1suppl_2): 100896-100896. 10.1016/esmoop/esmoop100896



Author affiliations

  • Biological Sciences, BITS PILANI GOA CAMPUS, ZUARINAGAR, GOA, 403726 - Zuarinagar/IN


This content is available to ESMO members and event participants.

Abstract 62P


Lung cancer is one of the leading contributors of cancer related mortalities worldwide. Out of all the lung cancer cases non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for approximately 80% of overall cases diagnosed. Quinacrine (QC), a synthetic drug belonging to the 9-aminoacridine another name mepacrine, repurposing quinacrine as an anticancer agent appears to be a promising strategy based on its ability to target multiple pathways.


Human lung cell lines A549 and NCI H520 were cultured for this study. Cytotoxicity of QC was assessed using resazurin dye. Cell cycle analysis was carried out using FACS. Mitochondrial membrane potential activity was analysed using JC-1 activity kit. RT-PCR analysis was carried out to evaluate the profile of various genes at their m-RNA level. Western blotting was performed using various antibodies. Microscopic analysis was carried out to understand the nuclear architecture, along with ROS estimation. GST assay kit was used for analysing GST activity.


NSCLC cells adapt to the chemotherapeutics. through altering numerous cellular pathways along with enhanced activity of enzymes such as GST, MTs including altering various signalling cascades. Through our study we have discovered novel binding of quinacrine with GSTA1 and inhibiting its catalytic activity. This finding has been accompanied with detailed study of the downstream effects of this molecule and novel interaction on viability of cancer cells, cell cycle progression and apoptotic signalling cascade among two non-small cell lung cancer cell lines namely A549 and NCI H520. We have shown that quinacrine causes generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) leading to ER stress and mitochondria mediated cell death.


Through a detailed study we have finally established that QC inhibited the activity of GSTA1 which inhibits cell survival and promotes apoptosis. QC possesses the advantage of targeting multiple signalling pathways via activation of apoptotic signalling cascades. Our findings add promising value to its expanding horizon of antineoplastic potential, which could be further utilized in designing combinational therapies for better and targeted destruction of NSCLC with fewer side effects.

Clinical trial identification

Editorial acknowledgement

Legal entity responsible for the study

The author.


This study was funded by the Department of Biotechnology, Govt. of India grant no.-6242-P59/RGCB/PMD/DBT/ANSR/2015 along with a supporting grant from ‘Goa Cancer Society’, Goa, India.


The author has declared no conflicts of interest.

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings
  • Necessary cookies enable core functionality. The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and you can only disable them by changing your browser preferences.