Primary squamous cell carcinoma of the thyroid is a rare and aggressive type of neoplasm, which is routinely treated with surgery; however, despite this, survival time is not commonly more than six months. Thus, the aim of the present study was to determine the efficacy of pseudolaric acid (PAB) as a therapeutic agent. PAB is an antitubulin agent, and in the present study, inhibition of the SW579 thyroid squamous cell carcinoma cell line by PAB was investigated. PAB was found to inhibit SW579 cell growth in a time‑ and dose‑dependent manner via interference in α‑tubulin polymerization. However, the inhibitory role of PAB in SW579 cells was not predominantly due to apoptosis, but was due to the cytostatic status resulting from cell cycle arrest. The present study proposes that this is the underlying mechanism of the antitumor properties of PAB. During cytostatis, autophagy was activated to sustain cell survival and SW579 cell migration was inhibited. Nuclear p53 expression was observed to be reduced, however the role of reduced p53 requires further investigation. Therefore, PAB induced cytostasis, which inhibited SW579 cell growth and therefore may function as an antitubulin therapeutic agent.
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