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Current Molecular Medicine


ISSN (Print): 1566-5240
ISSN (Online): 1875-5666

Metformin Restrains Pancreatic Duodenal Homeobox-1 (PDX-1) Function by Inhibiting ERK Signaling in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma.

Author(s): G. Zhou, J. Yu, A. Wang, S.-H. Liu, J. Sinnett-Smith, J. Wu, R. Sanchez, J. Nemunaitis, C. Ricordi, E. Rozengurt and F.C. Brunicardi

Volume 16, Issue 1, 2016

Page: [83 - 90] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1566524016666151222145551

Price: $65


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most potent and perilous diseases known, with a median survival rate of 3-5 months due to the combination of only advanced stage diagnosis and ineffective therapeutic options. Metformin (1,1-Dimethylbiguanide hydrochloride), the leading drug used for type 2 diabetes mellitus, emerges as a potential therapy for PDAC and other human cancers. Metformin exerts its anticancer action via a variety of adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-activated protein kinase (AMPK)- dependent and/or AMPK-independent mechanisms. We present data here showing that metformin downregulated pancreatic transcription factor pancreatic duodenal homeobox-1 (PDX-1), suggesting a potential novel mechanism by which metformin exerts its anticancer action. Metformin inhibited PDX-1 expression at both protein and mRNA levels and PDX-1 transactivity as well in PDAC cells. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) was identified as a PDX-1-interacting protein by antibody array screening in GFP-PDX-1 stable HEK293 cells. Co-transfection of ERK1 with PDX-1 resulted in an enhanced PDX-1 expression in HEK293 cells in a dose-dependent manner. Immunoprecipitation/Western blotting analysis confirmed the ERK-PDX-1 interaction in PANC-1 cells stimulated by epidermal growth factor (EGF). EGF induced an enhanced PDX-1 expression in PANC-1 cells and this stimulation was inhibited by MEK inhibitor PD0325901. Metformin inhibited EGF-stimulated PDX-1 expression with an accompanied inhibition of ERK kinase activation in PANC- 1 cells. Taken together, our studies show that PDX-1 is a potential novel target for metformin in PDAC cells and that metformin may exert its anticancer action in PDAC by down-regulating PDX-1 via a mechanism involving inhibition of ERK signaling.

Keywords: EGF, ERK, metformin, PDAC, PDX-1, signaling.

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