Metformin mediates resensitivity to 5-fluorouracil in hepatocellular carcinoma via the suppression of YAP

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Abstract

Metformin plays an anti-proliferative role in tumor cells in many types of cancer. However, the correlation between metformin and sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and the relevant mechanism are unclear. The present study showed that HCC patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus benefited from metformin administration, with a longer overall survival. Metformin resensitized Bel-7402/5-fluorouracil (Bel/Fu) cells to 5-fluorouracil (5-Fu) in vitro and in vivo, and the combination of metformin and 5-Fu inhibited cell proliferation, promoted cell apoptosis and induced G0/G1 cell cycle arrest in the Bel/Fu cells. Moreover, metformin repressed YAP by both decreasing the total protein expression and accelerating the phosphorylation of YAP. The inhibition of YAP subsequently promoted the expression of PTEN, and suppressed the Akt pathway. Therefore, the expression of P-gp and MRP1 was downregulated. Taken together, our findings suggested that metformin may increase sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents by suppressing YAP in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Tian, Y., Tang, B., Wang, C., Sun, D., Zhang, R., Luo, N., … Wang, L. (2016). Metformin mediates resensitivity to 5-fluorouracil in hepatocellular carcinoma via the suppression of YAP. Oncotarget, 7(29), 46230–46241. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10079

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