The Effect of Metformin on DNA Damage, Proliferation and Apoptosis in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer Cells

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202011034368
Title: The Effect of Metformin on DNA Damage, Proliferation and Apoptosis in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer Cells
Author: Ciparyte, Auguste
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Bio- ja ympäristötieteellinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Helsingfors universitet, Bio- och miljövetenskapliga fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202011034368
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/321052
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Genetiikan ja molekulaaristen biotieteiden maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Genetics and Molecular Biosciences
Magisterprogrammet i genetik och molekylära biovetenskaper
Specialisation: Genetiikka ja genomiikka
Genetics and Genomics
Genetik och genomik
Abstract: Diabetic ovarian cancer patients who take metformin as part of their anti-diabetic medication generally respond better to DNA-damaging cancer treatment. The molecular mechanisms of the anti-cancer effects of metformin are currently being investigated, but they remain poorly elucidated. Not much is understood about the metformin effect on DNA damage in ovarian cancer cells, where it is of particular importance. When chemotherapy-induced double-stranded DNA breaks are unrepaired, cells reach a point when they cannot tolerate the accumulated DNA damage and die. However, some ovarian cancer cells efficiently employ DNA repair mechanisms, the most prominent being homologous recombination (HR), to overcome DNA damage. Efficient HR causes chemoresistance. An important question is whether metformin has the ability to induce the HR-deficient state in cancer cells, thereby sensitizing them to treatment. This study did not examine HR directly, but it assessed HR indirectly by observing the effect of metformin on recovery from DNA damage in two ovarian cancer cell lines: OVCAR4 (HR-proficient) and Kuramochi (HR-deficient). Additionally, this study evaluated the metformin effect on cell proliferation and apoptosis. OVCAR4 and Kuramochi cells were exposed to varying metformin concentrations (0,5 mM, 5 mM, 10 mM, 15 mM, 20 mM and 25 mM) and for varying durations (24 hours and 48 hours). This study also tested how metformin pretreatment affected the cells’ ability to repair externally (ionizing irradiation) induced DNA damage. The cells were imaged with a high-content imaging system, and percentages of nuclei that were positive for markers for different cellular processes (i.e., DNA damage, proliferation, and apoptosis) were calculated. The study found that only high metformin concentrations, such as 20 mM were able to increase DNA damage and reduce cell proliferation in HR-proficient OVCAR4 cells, both non-irradiated and irradiated. The HR-deficient Kuramochi cell line was generally more sensitive to metformin, particularly with regards to DNA damage, which increased using metformin concentrations < 20 mM. However, 20 mM concentration resulted in the most significant effects. Similarly, only high metformin concentration (25 mM) increased apoptosis, although data were obtained only for a limited number of Kuramochi cells. More experiments on apoptosis would be beneficial. Also, more extensive experiments for the irradiation part are needed to validate these preliminary findings, as well as examining whether high metformin concentrations (> 20 mM) affect specifically the HR-mediated DNA repair pathway.
Subject: High-grade serous ovarian cancer
epithelial ovarian cancer
OVCAR4
Kuramochi
metformin
DNA damage
proliferation
apoptosis
ionizing radiation


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