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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(8), 1298;

The Antitumor Effect of Metformin Is Mediated by miR-26a in Breast Cancer

Biomedical Research Institute INCLIVA, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Oncology and Hematology Department, Hospital Clinico Universitario, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Y-h. Taguchi
Received: 20 May 2016 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 10 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue MicroRNA Regulation)
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Metformin, a drug approved for diabetes type II treatment, has been associated with a reduction in the incidence of breast cancer and metastasis and increased survival in diabetic breast cancer patients. High levels of miR-26a expression have been proposed as one of the possible mechanisms for this effect; likewise, this miRNA has also been associated with survival/apoptosis processes in breast cancer. Our aim was to evaluate if miR-26a and some of its targets could mediate the effect of metformin in breast cancer. The viability of MDA-MB-231, MDA-MB-468, and MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines was evaluated with an MTT assay after ectopic overexpression and/or downregulation of miR-26a. Similarly, the expression levels of the miR-26a targets CASP3, CCNE2, ABL2, APAF1, XIAP, BCL-2, PTEN, p53, E2F3, CDC25A, BCL2L1, MCL-1, EZH2, and MTDH were assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The effect of metformin treatment on breast cancer cell viability and miR-26a, BCL-2, PTEN, MCL-1, EZH2, and MTDH modulation were evaluated. Wound healing experiments were performed to analyze the effect of miR-26a and metformin treatment on cell migration. MiR-26a overexpression resulted in a reduction in cell viability that was partially recovered by inhibiting it. E2F3, MCL-1, EZH2, MTDH, and PTEN were downregulated by miR-26a and the PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog) protein was also reduced after miR-26a overexpression. Metformin treatment reduced breast cancer cell viability, increased miR-26a expression, and led to a reduction in BCL-2, EZH2, and PTEN expression. miR-26a inhibition partly prevents the metformin viability effect and the PTEN and EZH2 expression reduction. Our results indicate that metformin effectively reduces breast cancer cell viability and suggests that the effects of the drug are mediated by an increase in miR-26a expression and a reduction of its targets, PTEN and EHZ2 Thus, the use of metformin in breast cancer treatment constitutes a promising potential breast cancer therapy. View Full-Text
Keywords: miR-26a; metformin; breast cancer miR-26a; metformin; breast cancer

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Cabello, P.; Pineda, B.; Tormo, E.; Lluch, A.; Eroles, P. The Antitumor Effect of Metformin Is Mediated by miR-26a in Breast Cancer. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 1298.

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