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Can Diabetes Medication Prevent Growth of Melanoma Cells?

By: Kayci Reyer
Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2019

According to research from Japanese investigators published in Cancers, treatment using metformin, the oral medication typically used for individuals with type 2 diabetes, may induce melanoma cell growth suppression by regulating microRNA expression. The study data suggest that metformin might be a potential candidate for clinical trials of melanoma treatment.

Researchers used the next-generation sequencing approach to identify 3 upregulated microRNAs (miR-192-5p, miR-584-3p, and miR-1246) in melanoma cells that had been treated with metformin. Two of these microRNAS—miR-192-5p and miR-584-3p—were found to greatly reduce cancer cell motility, as well as prevent melanoma cell growth by arresting the cell cycle at the G2/M phase, therefore destroying cell progression. These microRNAs also induced cell apoptosis.

Targeting the genes EFEMP1 and SCAMP3 resulted in significantly suppressing the growth of melanoma cells, although the silencing of EFEMP1 alone reduced the motility of melanoma cells. Through microarray and bioinformatics methods for identifying possible target genes, the researchers determined that EFEMP1 (epidermal growth factor–containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1) and SCAMP3 (an isoform of the secretory carrier membrane proteins gene) could be knocked down by direct targeting of their 3'UTR region.

“Our findings indicated that [mircoRNAs] miR-192-5p and miR-584-3p might contribute to metformin-induced growth and motility suppression in melanoma cells through silencing their target genes EFEMP1 and SCAMP3,” concluded Kuo-Wang Tsai, PhD, of National Sun Yat-Sen University, Taiwan, and colleagues.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.



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