Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 13;22(16):8688. doi: 10.3390/ijms22168688.
Cytotoxic effects of cannabidiol (CBD) and tamoxifen (TAM) have been observed in several cancer types. We have recently shown that CBD primarily targets mitochondria, inducing a stable mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) and, consequently, the death of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cells. Mitochondria have also been documented among cellular targets for the TAM action. In the present study we have demonstrated a synergistic cytotoxic effect of TAM and CBD against T-ALL cells. By measuring the mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), mitochondrial calcium ([Ca2+]m) and protein-ligand docking analysis we determined that TAM targets cyclophilin D (CypD) to inhibit mPTP formation. This results in a sustained [Ca2+]m overload upon the consequent CBD administration. Thus, TAM acting on CypD sensitizes T-ALL to mitocans such as CBD by altering the mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis.