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Houston, TX, United States

Iglesias D.A.,1155 Hermann Pressler Dr. | Yates M.S.,1155 Hermann Pressler Dr. | Van Der Hoeven D.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Van Der Hoeven D.,University of Houston | And 11 more authors.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics | Year: 2013

Metformin is an oral biguanide commonly used for the treatment of type II diabetes and has recently been demonstrated to possess antiproliferative properties that can be exploited for the prevention and treatment of a variety of cancers. The mechanisms underlying this effect have not been fully elucidated. Using both in vitro and in vivo models, we examined the effects of metformin on endometrial tumors with defined aberrations in the PI3K/PTEN/mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways to understand metformin mechanism of action and identify clinically useful predictors of response to this agent. In vitro assays of proliferation, cytotoxicity, and apoptosis were used to quantify the effects of metformin on endometrial cancer cell lines with mutations in the PI3K/PTEN/mTOR and MAPK signaling pathways. The in vivo effects of oral metformin on tumor progression were further examined using xenograft mouse models of endometrial cancer. K-Ras localization was analyzed by confocal microscopy using GFP-labeled oncogenic K-Ras and by immunoblot following subcellular fractionation. Metformin inhibited cell proliferation, induced apoptosis, and decreased tumor growth in preclinical endometrial cancer models, with the greatest response observed in cells harboring activating mutations in K-Ras. Furthermore, metformin displaces constitutively active K-Ras from the cell membrane, causing uncoupling of the MAPK signaling pathway. These studies provide a rationale for clinical trials using metformin in combination with PI3K-targeted agents for tumors harboring activating K-Ras mutations, and reveal a novel mechanism of action for metformin. Mol Cancer Ther; 12(12); 2847-56. © 2013 AACR. © 2013 American Association for Cancer Research.

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