Oncotarget

Research Papers:

Dichloroacetate and metformin synergistically suppress the growth of ovarian cancer cells

Bo Li, Xinzhe Li, Zhenhong Ni, Yan Zhang, Yijun Zeng, Xiaohuan Yan, Yan Huang, Jintao He, Xilin Lyu, Yaran Wu, Yuting Wang _, Yingru Zheng and Fengtian He

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:59458-59470. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.10694

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Abstract

Bo Li1,*, Xinzhe Li1,*, Zhenhong Ni1, Yan Zhang1, Yijun Zeng1, Xiaohuan Yan2, Yan Huang3, Jintao He4, Xilin Lyu1, Yaran Wu1, Yuting Wang1, Yingru Zheng2, Fengtian He1

1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, College of Basic Medical Sciences, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China

2Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Daping Hospital and Research Institute of Surgery, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042, China

3Cancer Center, Daping Hospital and Research Institute of Surgery, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400042, China

4Battalion 17 of Students, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing 400038, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Yingru Zheng, email: zyrdaping@aliyun.com

Fengtian He, email: hefengtian06@aliyun.com

Keywords: dichloroacetate, metformin, Mcl-1, cancer metabolism, ovarian cancer

Received: January 24, 2016     Accepted: July 09, 2016     Published: July 19, 2016

ABSTRACT

Both dichloroacetate (DCA) and metformin (Met) have shown promising antitumor efficacy by regulating cancer cell metabolism. However, the DCA-mediated protective autophagy and Met-induced lactate accumulation limit their tumor-killing potential respectively. So overcoming the corresponding shortages will improve their therapeutic effects. In the present study, we found that DCA and Met synergistically inhibited the growth and enhanced the apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells. Interestingly, we for the first time revealed that Met sensitized DCA via dramatically attenuating DCA-induced Mcl-1 protein and protective autophagy, while DCA sensitized Met through markedly alleviating Met-induced excessive lactate accumulation and glucose consumption. The in vivo experiments in nude mice also showed that DCA and Met synergistically suppressed the growth of xenograft ovarian tumors. These results may pave a way for developing novel strategies for the treatment of ovarian cancer based on the combined use of DCA and Met.


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