Glibenclamide (also called glyburide) is a long-established oral sulfonylurea, developed in the late-1960’s, largely used to treat type 2 diabetes. It remains used today in many countries, under different trade names (including Daonil®), to decrease the excess of sugar in blood, favoring insulin secretion. A prototypical anti-diabetic drug.
Glibenclamide targets the sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1), a regulatory subunit of potassium channels, to induce insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells. It has also been shown to possess anti-proliferative effect against several types of tumors. Recently, the SUR1 receptor was found to be over-expressed in non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) tissues and to function as a tumor enhancer. By targeting SUR1, glibenclamide has potential anticancer effects, in specific lung cancers. SUR1 is also a putative therapeutic target to reduce neuroinflammation in adult and pediatric brain tumors.