Diphenyleneiodonium efficiently inhibits the characteristics of a cancer stem cell model derived from induced pluripotent stem cells

Sadia Monzur, Ghmkin Hassan, Said M. Afify, Kazuki Kumon, Hager Mansour, Hend M. Nawara, Mona Sheta, Hagar A. Abu Quora, Maram H. Zahra, Yanning Xu, Xiaoyin Fu, Akimasa Seno, Per Wikström, Ferenc L.M. Szekeres, Masaharu Seno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diphenyleneiodonium (DPI) has long been evaluated as an anticancer drug inhibiting NADPH oxidase, the IC50 in several cancer cell lines was reported 10 µM, which is too high for efficacy. In this study, we employed miPS-Huh7cmP cells, which we previously established as a cancer stem cell (CSC) model from induced pluripotent stem cells, to reevaluate the efficacy of DPI because CSCs are currently one of the main foci of therapeutic strategy to treat cancer, but generally considered resistant to chemotherapy. As a result, the conventional assay for the cell growth inhibition by DPI accounted for an IC50 at 712 nM that was not enough to define the effectiveness as an anticancer drug. Simultaneously, the wound-healing assay revealed an IC50 of approximately 500 nM. Comparatively, the IC50 values shown on sphere formation, colony formation, and tube formation assays were 5.52, 12, and 8.7 nM, respectively. However, these inhibitory effects were not observed by VAS2780, also a reputed NADPH oxidase inhibitor. It is noteworthy that these three assays are evaluating the characteristic of CSCs and are designed in the three-dimensional (3D) culture methods. We concluded that DPI could be a suitable candidate to target mitochondrial respiration in CSCs. We propose that the 3D culture assays are more efficient to screen anti-CSC drug candidates and better mimic tumor microenvironment when compared to the adherent monolayer of 2D culture system used for a conventional assay, such as cell growth inhibition and wound-healing assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-320
Number of pages11
JournalCell biochemistry and function
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • 2D culture
  • 3D culture
  • cancer stem cell
  • colony formation
  • differentiation
  • diphenyleneiodonium chloride
  • sphere formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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