Metabolomics reveals the effect of valproic acid on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells

1. Breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies in women worldwide. Metabolomics has been shown to be a promising strategy to elucidate the underlying pathogenesis of cancer and identify new targets for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, is a potential new drug in tumor therapy. This work used metabolomics to examine the effect of VPA on metabolism in breast cancer cells.

2. Based on UPLC-MS/MS, we identified 3137 differential metabolites in human breast cancer MCF-7 cells and 2472 differential metabolites in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells after VPA treatment.

3. We selected 63 differential metabolites from MCF-7 samples and 61 differential metabolites from MDA-MB-231 cells with the more conspicuous changing trend. Furfural was up-regulated after VPA treatment in both cell lines. In both samples, VPA exerted an effect on the beta-alanine metabolism pathway and the taurine and hypotaurine metabolism pathway.

4. This study identified the effect of VPA on metabolites and metabolic pathways in breast cancer cells, and these findings may contribute to the identification of new targets for breast cancer treatment.