Metformin Inhibits Growth of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells by Inducing Apoptosis Via Mitochondrion-mediated Pathway


Recently, population-based studies of type 2 diabetes patients have provided evidence that metformin treatment is associated with a reduced cancer incidence and mortality, but its mode of action remains unclear. Here we report effects of metformin on hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) Hep-G2 cells and details of molecular mechanisms of metformin activity. Our research indicates that metformin displays anticancer activity against HCC through inhibition of the mTOR translational pathway in an AMPK-independent manner, leading to G1 arrest in the cell-cycle and subsequent cell apoptosis through the mitochondrion-dependent pathway. Furthermore, we showed that metformin strongly attenuated colony formation and dramatically inhibited Hep-G2 tumor growth in vivo.In conclusion, our studies suggested that metformin might have potential as a cytotoxic drug in the prevention and treatment of HCC.