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01.12.2015 | Research Article | Ausgabe 12/2015

Tumor Biology 12/2015

Metformin inhibits the proliferation, metastasis, and cancer stem-like sphere formation in osteosarcoma MG63 cells in vitro

Zeitschrift:
Tumor Biology > Ausgabe 12/2015
Autoren:
Xu Chen, Chuanzhen Hu, Weibin Zhang, Yuhui Shen, Jun Wang, Fangqiong Hu, Pei Yu
Wichtige Hinweise
Xu Chen and Chuanzhen Hu contributed to this work equally as first authors.
Weibin Zhang and Yuhui Shen contributed to this work equally as corresponding authors.

Abstract

Metformin is an oral drug that has been widely used to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus. Interestingly, accumulated evidence indicate that metformin may reduce the risk of cancer in patients with type 2 diabetes and inhibit tumor cell growth and survival in numerous malignancies, including osteosarcoma (OS) cells. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effects of metformin on the proliferation, migration, invasion, and sphere formation in OS MG63 cells in vitro. Metformin suppressed OS MG63 cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner and markedly blocked anti-metastatic potentials, migration, and invasion, by downregulating matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) and MMP9. Besides, we established OS cancer stem-like cell (CSC) model with sarcosphere formation assay and demonstrated that metformin posed damage on CSCs in OS by inhibiting sphere formation and by inducing their stemness loss. The stemness of CSCs in OS such as self-renewal and differentiation potentials was both impaired with a significant decrease of Oct-4 and Nanog activation. Consistent with this, the positive rates of CD90, CD133, and stage-specific embryonic antigen-4 (SSEA-4) were all observed with reductions in response to metformin exposure. In addition, Western blot showed that metformin activated AMPKα at Tyr172, followed by a downregulated phosphorylation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)/S6 and feedback activation of p-AKT Ser473 in both OS MG63 cells and CSCs. This indicates that AMPK/mTOR/S6 signaling pathway might be involved in the growth inhibition of both OS MG63 cells and CSCs. These results suggest that metformin, a potential anti-neoplastic agent, might make it a novel therapeutic choice for the treatment of OS in the future.

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