Metformin Amplifies Chemotherapy-Induced AMPK Activation and Antitumoral Growth
ABSTRACT Metformin is a widely used antidiabetic drug whose anticancer effects, mediated by the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and reduction of mTOR signaling, have become noteworthy. Chemotherapy produces genotoxic stress and induces p53 activity, which can cross-talk with AMPK/mTOR pathway. Herein, we investigate whether the combination of metformin and paclitaxel has an effect in cancer cell lines.
Human tumors were xenografted into severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice and the cancer cell lines were treated with only paclitaxel or only metformin, or a combination of both drugs. Western blotting, flow cytometry, and immunohistochemistry were then used to characterize the effects of the different treatments.
The results presented herein show that the addition of metformin to paclitaxel leads to quantitative potentialization of molecular signaling through AMPK and a subsequent potent inhibition of the mTOR signaling pathway. Treatment with metformin and paclitaxel resulted in an increase in the number of cells arrested in the G(2)-M phase of the cell cycle, and decreased the tumor growth and increased apoptosis in tumor-bearing mice, when compared with individual drug treatments.
We have provided evidence for a convergence of metformin and paclitaxel induced signaling at the level of AMPK. This mechanism shows how different drugs may cooperate to augment antigrowth signals, and suggests that target activation of AMPK by metformin may be a compelling ally in cancer treatment.
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ABSTRACT: Background Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are considered the cell subpopulation responsible for breast cancer (BC) initiation, growth, and relapse. CSCs are identified as self-renewing and tumor-initiating cells, conferring resistance to chemo- and radio-therapy to several neoplasias. Nowadays, th (about 10mM)e pharmacological targeting of CSCs is considered an ineludible therapeutic goal. The antidiabetic drug metformin was reported to suppress in vitro and in vivo CSC survival in different tumors and, in particular, in BC preclinical models. However, few studies are available on primary CSC cultures derived from human postsurgical BC samples, likely because of the limited amount of tissue available after surgery. In this context, comparative oncology is acquiring a relevant role in cancer research, allowing the analysis of larger samples from spontaneous pet tumors that represent optimal models for human cancer. Methods Isolation of primary canine mammary carcinoma (CMC) cells and enrichment in stem-like cell was carried out from fresh tumor specimens by culturing cells in stem-permissive conditions. Phenotypic and functional characterization of CMC-derived stem cells was performed in vitro, by assessment of self-renewal, long-lasting proliferation, marker expression, and drug sensitivity, and in vivo, by tumorigenicity experiments. Corresponding cultures of differentiated CMC cells were used as internal reference. Metformin efficacy on CMC stem cell viability was analyzed both in vitro and in vivo. Results We identified a subpopulation of CMC cells showing human breast CSC features, including expression of specific markers (i.e. CD44, CXCR4), growth as mammospheres, and tumor-initiation in mice. These cells show resistance to doxorubicin but were highly sensitive to metformin in vitro. Finally, in vivo metformin administration significantly impaired CMC growth in NOD-SCID mice, associated with a significant depletion of CSCs. Conclusions Similarly to the human counterpart, CMCs contain stem-like subpopulations representing, in a comparative oncology context, a valuable translational model for human BC, and, in particular, to predict the efficacy of antitumor drugs. Moreover, metformin represents a potential CSC-selective drug for BC, as effective (neo-)adjuvant therapy to eradicate CSC in mammary carcinomas of humans and animals. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12885-015-1235-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.BMC Cancer 04/2015; 15(1). DOI:10.1186/s12885-015-1235-8 · 3.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Poly-γ-glutamic acid (PGA) is one of the bioactive compounds found in cheonggukjang, a fast-fermented soybean paste widely utilized in Korean cooking. PGA is reported to have a number of beneficial health effects, and interestingly, it has been identified as a possible anti-cancer compound through its ability to promote apoptosis in cancer cells, although the precise molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Our findings demonstrate that PGA inhibits the pro-proliferative functions of the phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA), a known chemical carcinogen in HT-29 human colorectal cancer cells. This inhibition was accompanied by hallmark apoptotic phenotypes, including DNA fragmentation and the cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and caspase 3. In addition, PGA treatment reduced the expression of genes known to be overexpressed in colorectal cancer cells, including cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Lastly, PGA promoted activation of 5' adenosine monophosphate-activated protein (AMPK) in HT-29 cells. Taken together, our results suggest that PGA treatment enhances apoptosis in colorectal cancer cells, in part by modulating the activity of the COX-2 and AMPK signaling pathways. These anti-cancer functions of PGA make it a promising compound for future study.International Journal of Molecular Sciences 04/2015; 16(4):7577-86. DOI:10.3390/ijms16047577 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations occur in 17% of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with notable response to single agent therapy but with low complete remission rate and, eventually, disease progression. Priming BIM, a pro-apoptotic signaling BH3-only protein, induces sensitivity to erlotinib in EGFR-mutant cell lines. Synthetic lethal approaches and preemptive therapies based on the initial expression of BIM may significantly improve the treatment outcome. EGFR mutations result in transient pro-death imbalance of survival and apoptotic signaling in response to EGFR inhibition. SHP2 is essential to the balance between ERK and the phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT and signal transducer activator of transcription (STAT) activity, while mTOR can be an additional marker for patients with high BIM expression. Furthermore, stromal hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) confers EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) resistance and induces interreceptor crosstalk with integrin-b4, Eph2, CUB domain-containing protein-1 (CDCP1), AXL and JAK1. Only by understanding better, and in more depth, complex cancer molecular biology will we have the information that will help us to design strategies to augment efficacy of EGFR TKIs and offer our patients the best, most correct therapeutic option.04/2014; 3(2):107-15. DOI:10.3978/j.issn.2218-6751.2014.02.04