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Antiproliferative and Proapoptotic Effects of Astemizole on Cervical Cancer Cells

de Guadalupe Chávez-López, María MSc*; Hernández-Gallegos, Elizabeth MSc*; Vázquez-Sánchez, Alma Y. MSc*; Gariglio, Patricio PhD; Camacho, Javier PhD*

International Journal of Gynecological Cancer: June 2014 - Volume 24 - Issue 5 - p 824–828
doi: 10.1097/IGC.0000000000000151
Basic Science

Objective Cervical cancer is a major cause of mortality among women in developing countries. Thus, it is necessary to offer novel therapies to treat this malignancy. Astemizole has been suggested as a novel and interesting anticancer agent because it targets several proteins involved in cancer including Eag1 (ether à-go-go-1) potassium channels. Eag1 has been proposed as a tumor marker for different types of cancer. Actually, we previously suggested Eag1 channels as cervical cancer and dysplasia markers. Besides, Eag1 has been proposed as a therapeutic target for different malignancies. However, the effect of astemizole in cervical cancer cells is unknown. Therefore, we investigated the effect of astemizole on the proliferation and apoptosis of cervical cancer cells.

Methods Five cervical cancer cell lines (HeLa, SiHa, CaSki, INBL, and C-33A) were cultured according to manufacturer’s instructions. Eag1 protein expression was studied by immunocytochemistry. Cell proliferation was assayed with the MTT method, and apoptosis was investigated by flow cytometry.

Results Eag1 protein expression was observed in different cell lines. Astemizole decreased cell proliferation in up to 40% and increased apoptosis severalfold in all the cell lines studied.

Conclusions Our results suggest astemizole as a potential therapy for cervical cancer.

*Department of Pharmacology, and †Departamento de Genética y Biología Molecular, Centro de Investigación y de Estudios Avanzados del I.P.N., Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, Mexico City, México.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Javier Camacho, PhD, Department of Pharmacology, Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del IPN Avenida Instituto Politécnico Nacional 2508, Mexico City 07360, México. E-mail:

This work was partially supported by CONACyT grant 141126 to J.C.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Received July 16, 2013

Accepted March 23, 2014

© 2014 by the International Gynecologic Cancer Society and the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology.