Visfatin stimulates endometrial cancer cell proliferation via activation of PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK1/2 signalling pathways
Objective Endometrial carcinoma is one of the most common malignancies of the female reproductive system, but the aetiology and pathogenesis are not well understood, although adipokines such as visfatin may be involved. Our study provides insight into the mechanism underlying the tumorigenic effects of visfatin in endometrial carcinoma. Methods We investigated the effect of visfatin on endometrial carcinoma cell proliferation, cell cycle, and apoptosis using well-differentiated Ishikawa cells and poorly differentiated KLE cells. We also assessed the effect of visfatin on tumour growth in vivo. Results Visfatin stimulated the proliferation of both Ishikawa and KLE cells, and visfatin treatment promoted G1/S phase progression and inhibited endometrial carcinoma cell apoptosis. Visfatin promoted endometrial carcinoma tumour growth in BALB/c-nu mice. Transplanted tumour tissues from an endometrial carcinoma mouse model were analysed using immunohistochemical staining, which revealed much stronger positive signals for Ki-67 with over-abundant visfatin. Western blot analysis revealed that insulin receptor (IR), insulin receptor substrate (IRS)1/2 and key components of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 signalling pathways were highly expressed in endometrial carcinoma cells exposed to visfatin. Treated cells showed increased C-MYC and cyclin D1 and reduced caspase-3 expression. The effects of visfatin on proliferation and apoptosis were abrogated by treatment with the PI3K inhibitor LY294002 and MEK inhibitor U0126. Conclusions Visfatin promotes the malignant progression of endometrial carcinoma via activation of IR and PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK signalling. Visfatin may serve as a therapeutic target in the treatment of endometrial carcinoma.
© 2016 Elsevier Inc.