Metformin: molecular mechanisms

The main effect of this drug from the biguanide family is to acutely decrease hepatic glucose production, mostly through a mild and transient inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory chain complex I. In addition, the resulting decrease in hepatic energy status activates AMPK (AMP-activated protein kinase), a cellular metabolic sensor, providing a generally accepted mechanism for the action of metformin on hepatic gluconeogenesis. Beyond its effect on glucose metabolism, metformin has been reported to restore ovarian function in PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), to reduce fatty liver and diabetic nephropathy, to lower microvascular and macrovascular complications associated with T2D and to decrease the cancer risk. (PMID:22117616)


Interactions166Proteins/Genes39Chemical compounds/drugs5
Biological Process(GO)13Phenotype6