Glipizide, an antidiabetic drug, suppresses tumor growth and metastasis by inhibiting angiogenesis

Cuiling Qi, Qin Zhou, Bin Li, Yang Yang, Liu Cao, Yuxiang Ye, Jiangchao Li, Yi Ding, Huiping Wang, Jintao Wang, Xiaodong He, Qianqian Zhang, Tian Lan, Kenneth Ka Ho Lee, Weidong Li, Xiaoyu Song, Jia Zhou, Xuesong Yang, Lijing Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Angiogenesis is involved in the development, progression and metastasis of various human cancers. Herein, we report the discovery of glipizide, a widely used drug for type 2 diabetes mellitus, as a promising anticancer agent through the inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. By high-throughput screening (HTS) of an FDA approved drug library utilizing our in vivo chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and yolk sac membrane (YSM) models, glipizide has been identified to significantly inhibit blood vessel formation and development. Moreover, glipizide was found to suppress tumor angiogenesis, tumor growth and metastasis using xenograft tumor and MMTV-PyMT transgenic mouse models. We further revealed that the anticancer capability of glipizide is not attributed to its antiproliferative effects, which are not significant against various human cancer cell lines. To investigate whether its anticancer efficacy is associated with the glucose level alteration induced by glipizide application, glimepiride, another medium to long-acting sulfonylurea antidiabetic drug in the same class, was employed for the comparison studies in the same fashion. Interestingly, glimepiride has demonstrated no significant impact on the tumor growth and metastasis, indicating that the anticancer effects of glipizide is not ascribed to its antidiabetic properties. Furthermore, glipizide suppresses endothelial cell migration and the formation of tubular structures, thereby inhibiting angiogenesis by up-regulating the expression of natriuretic peptide receptor A. These findings uncover a novel mechanism of glipizide as a potential cancer therapy, and also for the first time, provide direct evidence to support that treatment with glipizide may reduce the cancer risk for diabetic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9966-9979
Number of pages14
Issue number20
StatePublished - 2014


  • Anticancer
  • Glipizide
  • Metastasis
  • Natriuretic peptide receptor A
  • Tumor angiogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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