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  • 1
    Abstract: Metformin treatment is associated with a decreased risk and better prognosis of pancreatic cancer (PC) in patients with type 2 diabetes, but the mechanism of metformin's PC growth inhibition in the context of a prediabetic state is unknown. We used a Panc02 pancreatic tumor cell transplant model in diet-induced obese (DIO) C57BL/6 mice to compare the effects of metformin and the direct mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor rapamycin on PC growth, glucose regulation, mTOR pathway signaling, and candidate microRNA (miR) expression. In DIO/prediabetic mice, metformin and rapamycin significantly reduced pancreatic tumor growth and mTOR-related signaling. The rapamycin effects centered on decreased mTOR-regulated growth and survival signaling, including increased expression of let-7b and cell cycle-regulating miRs. Metformin (but not rapamycin) reduced glucose and insulin levels and expression of miR-34a and its direct targets Notch, Slug, and Snail. Metformin also reduced the number and size of Panc02 tumor spheres in vitro and inhibited the expression of Notch in spheroids. Our results suggest that metformin and rapamycin can both inhibit pancreatic tumor growth in obese, prediabetic mice through shared and distinct mechanisms. Metformin and direct mTOR inhibitors, alone or possibly in combination, represent promising intervention strategies for breaking the diabetes-PC link.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25576058
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  • 2
    The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB)
    Publication Date: 2018-07-02
    Description: Interest in measuring tissue lipids has increased as the link between fat-laden tissues and metabolic disease has become obvious; however, linking disease to a specific cell type within a tissue has been hampered by methodological limitations. Flow cytometry (FC) has been used to assess relative lipid levels in cells. Unfortunately, its usefulness is limited because comparisons between samples generated over several hours is problematic. We show that: 1 ) in lipophilic fluorophore stained cells, fluorescence intensity measured by FC reflects lipid levels; 2 ) this technique can be used to assess lipid levels in a mixed cell population; 3 ) normalizing to a control condition can decrease experiment-to-experiment variation; and 4 ) fluorescence intensity increases linearly with lipid levels. This allows triacylglycerol (TG) mass to be estimated in mixed cell populations comparing cells with known fluorescence and TG levels. We exploited this strategy to estimate lipid levels in monocytes within a mixed population of cells isolated from human blood. Using this strategy, we also confirmed that perilipin (PLIN)1 increases TG accumulation by ectopically expressing fluorescently tagged PLIN1 in Huh7 cells. In both examples, biochemically assaying for TG in specific cell populations is problematic due to limited cell numbers and isolation challenges. Other advantages are discussed.
    Print ISSN: 0022-2275
    Electronic ISSN: 1539-7262
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine
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