Diabetic patients taking metformin have lower incidence of breast cancer than those taking other anti-diabetic medications. Additionally, triple negative breast cancer (TNBC), a form of breast cancer disproportionately afflicting premenopausal African American women, shows atypical susceptibility to metformin’s antiproliferative effect. The mechanisms involved in metformin’s function in TNBC has not yet been fully elucidated. Therefore, we sought to identify pathways regulated by metformin in using the MDA-MB-468 TNBC cell model. Metformin dose-dependently caused apoptosis, decreased cell viability, and induced cell morphology/chromatin condensation consistent with the permanent proliferative arrest. Furthermore, gene expression arrays revealed that metformin caused expression of stress markers DDIT3, CYP1A1,and GDF-15 and a concomitant reduction in PTGS1 expression. Our findings show that metformin may affect the viability and proliferative capacity of TNBC by inducing an antiproliferative gene signature, and that metformin may be effective in the treatment/prevention of TNBC.


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pp. 93-103
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