Journal of Oncology Translational Research

ISSN: 2476-2261

Open Access

Metformin Targets Glucose Metabolism in Triple Negative Breast Cancer


Wahdan-Alaswad RS, Edgerton SM, Salem HS, and Thor AD

Metformin is the most widely administered anti-diabetic agent worldwide. In patients receiving metformin for metabolic syndrome or diabetes, it reduces the incidence and improves the survival of breast cancer (BC) patients. We have previously shown that metformin is particularly potent against triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), with a reduction of proliferation, oncogenicity and motility, inhibition of pro-oncogenic signaling pathways and induction of apoptosis. These BCs are well recognized to be highly dependent on glucose/glucosamine (metabolized through anaerobic glycolysis) and lipids, which are metabolized for the production of energy and cellular building blocks to sustain a high rate of proliferation. We have previously demonstrated that metformin inhibits lipid metabolism, specifically targeting fatty acid synthase (FASN), cholesterol biosynthesis and GM1 lipid rafts in TNBC. We also reported that glucose promotes phenotypic aggression and reduces metformin efficacy. We now show that metformin inhibits several key enzymes requisite to glucose metabolism in TNBC, providing additional insight into why metformin is especially toxic to this subtype of BC. Our data suggests that the use of metformin to target key metabolic defects in lipid and carbohydrate metabolism in cancer may be broadly applicable, especially against highly aggressive malignant cells.


Share this article

arrow_upward arrow_upward