International journal of clinical and experimental medicine

Metformin inhibits cell growth by upregulating microRNA-26a in renal cancer cells.

PMID 25419360


Accumulating evidence suggests that metformin, a biguanide class of anti-diabetic drugs, possesses anti-cancer properties and may reduce cancer risk and improve prognosis. However, the mechanism by which metformin affects various cancers, including renal cancer still unknown. MiR-26a induces cell growth, cell cycle and cell apoptosis progression via direct targeting of Bcl-2, clyclin D1 and PTEN in cancer cells. In the present study, we used 786-O human renal cancer cell lines to study the effects and mechanisms of metformin. Metformin treatment inhibited RCC cells proliferation by increasing expression of miR-26a in 786-O cells (P < 0.05). As a result, protein abundance of Bcl-2 and cyclin D1 was decreased and PTEN was increased in cells exposed to metformin. Also over-expression of miR-26a can inhibited cell proliferation by down-regulating Bcl-2, cyclin D1 and up-regulating PTEN expression. Therefore, these data for the first time provide novel evidence for a mechanism that the anticancer activities of metformin are due to upregulation of miR-26a and affect its downstream target gene.