Metformin Inhibits Prostate Cancer Cell Proliferation, Migration, and Tumor Growth through Upregulation of PEDF Expression.

Metformin has been reported to inhibit the growth of various types of cancers, including prostate cancer. Yet the mode of anti-cancer action of metformin and the underlying mechanisms remain not fully elucidated.

We hypothesized that the antitumorigenic effects of metformin are mediated through upregulation of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) expression in prostate cancer cells. In this report, metformin treatment significantly inhibited the proliferation and colony formation of prostate cancer cells, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Meanwhile, Metformin markedly suppressed migration and invasion and induced apoptosis of both LNCaP and PC3 cancer cells. Metformin also reduced PC3 tumor growth in BALB/c nude mice in vivo. Furthermore, metformin treatment was associated with higher PEDF expression in both prostate cancer cells and tumor tissue. Taken together, metformin inhibits prostate cancer cell proliferation, migration, invasion and tumor growth, and these activities are mediated by upregulation of PEDF expression. These findings provide a novel insight into the molecular functions of metformin as an anticancer agent.

Cancer biology & therapy. 2016 Mar 17 [Epub ahead of print]

Xiaowan Chen, Chenli Li, Tiantian He, Jiating Mao, Chunmei Li, Jianxin Lyu, Qing H Meng

a Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, Ministry of Education of China, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University , Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035 , China., a Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, Ministry of Education of China, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University , Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035 , China., a Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, Ministry of Education of China, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University , Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035 , China., a Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, Ministry of Education of China, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University , Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035 , China., a Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, Ministry of Education of China, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University , Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035 , China., a Key Laboratory of Laboratory Medicine, Ministry of Education of China, Zhejiang Provincial Key Laboratory of Medical Genetics, School of Laboratory Medicine and Life Sciences, Wenzhou Medical University , Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325035 , China., b Department of Laboratory Medicine , The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center , Houston , TX 77030 , USA.

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