Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor in the world, only 25% of GBM patients were alive one year after diagnosis. Although Temozolamide combined with radiation therapy more effectively prolonged the survival rate than radiation alone, the overall survival rate is still dismal. Therefore, a new therapeutic strategy is urgently needed. CDK4/6 inhibitors are newly FDA-approved agents to treat HR-positive, HER2-negative advanced, and metastatic breast cancers, and preclinical results showed that CDK4/6 inhibitors significantly reduced cell proliferation and tumor growth. However, several studies have suggested that CDK4/6 inhibitor-induced non-genetic changes caused treatment failure, including autophagy activation. Therefore, this study aimed to combine an autophagy inhibitor, MPT0L145, with abemaciclib to improve therapeutic efficiency. The use of abemaciclib effectively inhibited cell proliferation via suppression of RB phos-phorylation and induced autophagy activation in GBM cancer cells. MPT0L145 treatment alone not only blocked autophagy activation, but also induced generation of ROS and DNA damage in a concentration-dependent manner. Importantly, MPT0L145 had a comparable penetration ability to TMZ in our blood brain barrier permeability assay. Combined MPT0L145 with abemaciclib significantly reduced cell proliferation, suppressed RB phosphorylation, and increased ROS production. In conclusion, the data suggested that blocking autophagy by MPT0L145 synergistically sensitized GBM cancer cells to abemaciclib and represents a potential therapeutic strategy for treating GBM in the future.
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