Metformin suppresses sonic hedgehog expression in pancreatic cancer cells

Masafumi Nakamura, Ayako Ogo, Masahiro Yamura, Yoshiyuki Yamaguchi, Hiroshi Nakashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Background/Aim: Metformin use has previously been associated with decreased cancer risk. The Hedgehog signaling pathway is a well-characterized early and late mediator of pancreatic cancer oncogenesis. The aim of the present study was to clarify the effect of metformin on factors involved in Hedgehog signaling. Materials and Methods: BxPC3 human pancreatic cancer cells were treated with metformin, and Sonic hedgehog (Shh) mRNA and protein levels were examined by real time reverse transcriptionpolymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting, respectively. The effect of metformin on Shh levels was also examined in three other cancer cell lines. Results: Shh protein and mRNA expression was suppressed by metformin in BxPC3 cells. This phenomenon was further confirmed in three other cancer cell lines. Shh mRNA expression was inhibited by metformin in a concentrationdependent manner in two cancer cell lines. Conclusion: Metformin reduces the expression of Shh in several cancer cell lines including pancreatic cancer cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1765-1770
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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