The novel combination of nitroxoline and PD-1 blockade, exerts a potent antitumor effect in a mouse model of prostate cancer

Naijin Xu, Linglong Huang, Xiezhao Li, Masami Watanabe, Chaoming Li, Abai Xu, Chunxiao Liu, Qiang Li, Motoo Araki, Koichiro Wada, Yasutomo Nasu, Peng Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) blockade is a promising therapeutic strategy against prostate cancer. Nitroxoline has been found to have effective anticancer properties in several cancer types. We investigated the efficacy of a combination therapy involving nitroxoline and PD-1 blockade in a prostate cancer mouse model. In our in vitro analysis, we found that nitroxoline inhibited the viability and proliferation of the mouse prostate cancer cell line RM9-Luc-PSA. Additionally, nitroxoline downregulated the expressions of phospho-PI3 kinase, phospho-Akt (Thr308), phospho-Akt (Ser473), phospho-GSK-3β, Bcl-2, and Bcl-xL. Nitroxoline also downregulated programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression levels in prostate cancer cell line and tumor tissue. In our murine prostate cancer orthotopic model, nitroxoline plus PD-1 blockade synergistically suppressed tumor growth when compared with nitroxoline or PD-1 blockade alone, leading to reductions in tumor weight, bioluminescence tumor signals, and serum prostate-specific antigen levels. Furthermore, fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis showed that the combination strategy significantly enhanced antitumor immunity by increasing CD44+CD62L+CD8+ memory T cell numbers and reducing myeloid-derived suppressor cell numbers in peripheral blood. In conclusion, our findings suggest that nitroxoline plus PD-1 blockade may be a promising treatment strategy in patients with prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-928
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Chemotherapy
  • Combination therapy
  • Immunotherapy
  • Preclinical model
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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