Metabolomics:Open Access

ISSN: 2153-0769

Open Access

Effects of Metformin and a Mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) ATP-Competitive Inhibitor on Targeted Metabolomics in Pancreatic Cancer Cell Line


Ghada A Soliman, Sharalyn M Steenson and Asserewou H Etekpo

intervention strategies. The mammalian Target of Rapamycin (mTOR) is a conserved kinase and master regulator of metabolism and cell growth. mTOR is dysregulated in diabetes and pancreatic cancer. Recent reports indicate that 50% of Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients are diabetic at the time of diagnosis. Furthermore, the anti- diabetic drug, metformin, which indirectly inhibits mTOR, has emerged as a potential therapeutic target for PC.

The objective of this study is to determine the targeted-metabolomics profile in PDAC cell line (HPAF-II) with mTOR inhibition and that interaction between mTOR ATP-competitive inhibitor (Torin 2) and metformin as potential combined therapy in PC.

HPAF-II cell lines were cultured in the presence of either Torin 2, metformin, both, or control vehicle. We utilized targeted LC/MS/MS to characterize the alterations in glycolytic and tricarboxylic acid cycle metabolomics, and employed Western Blot analysis for cell signaling activation by phosphorylation. Comparisons between groups were analyzed using one-way Analysis of Variance followed by secondary post-hoc analysis.

After 1 h incubation with metformin, AMP concentration was significantly increased compared to other groups (p<0.03). After 24 h, Torin-2 significantly decreased glycolysis intermediates (fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (FBP), and 2-phosphoglycerate/3-phosphoglycerate), TCA intermediate metabolites (citrate/isocitrate, and malate), as well as Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) and Flavin Adenine Dinucleotide (FAD), and ATP levels. When HPAF-II cells were incubated with both Torin-2 and metformin, there was a significant reduction in NAD+ and FAD, suggesting decreased levels of the energy equivalents that are available to the electron transport chain.

Targeted metabolomics data indicate that mTOR complexes inhibition by Torin 2 reduced glycolytic intermediates and TCA metabolites in HPAF- II and may synergize with metformin to decrease the electron acceptors NAD+ and FAD which may lead to reduced energy production.


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