Recent Advances in Antabuse (Disulfiram): The Importance of its Metal-binding Ability to its Anticancer Activity

Author(s): Maricela Viola-Rhenals*, Kush R. Patel, Laura Jaimes-Santamaria, Guojun Wu, Jinbao Liu, Q. Ping Dou*

Journal Name: Current Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 25 , Issue 4 , 2018

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Background: Considerable evidence demonstrates the importance of dithiocarbamates especially disulfiram as anticancer drugs. However there are no systematic reviews outlining how their metal-binding ability is related to their anticancer activity. This review aims to summarize chemical features and metal-binding activity of disulfiram and its metabolite DEDTC, and discuss different mechanisms of action of disulfiram and their contributions to the drug's anticancer activity.

Methods: We undertook a disulfiram-related search on bibliographic databases of peerreviewed research literature, including many historic papers and in vitro, in vivo, preclinical and clinical studies. The selected papers were carefully reviewed and summarized.

Results: More than five hundreds of papers were obtained in the initial search and one hundred eighteen (118) papers were included in the review, most of which deal with chemical and biological aspects of Disulfiram and the relationship of its chemical and biological properties. Eighty one (81) papers outline biological aspects of dithiocarbamates, and fifty seven (57) papers report biological activity of Disulfiram as an inhibitor of proteasomes or inhibitor of aldehyde dehydrogenase enzymes, interaction with other anticancer drugs, or mechanism of action related to reactive oxygen species. Other papers reviewed focus on chemical aspects of dithiocarbamates.

Conclusion: This review confirms the importance of chemical features of compounds such as Disulfiram to their biological activities, and supports repurposing DSF as a potential anticancer agent.

Keywords: Disulfiram, metal, dithiocarbamate, proteasome inhibitor, anticancer drug, new use of old drugs.

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Article Details

Year: 2018
Page: [506 - 524]
Pages: 19
DOI: 10.2174/0929867324666171023161121
Price: $65

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