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Cancer Biol Med. 2012 Dec;9(4):213-20. doi: 10.7497/j.issn.2095-3941.2012.04.001.

Role of adiponectin and its receptors in cancer.

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Storr Liver Unit, Westmead Millennium Institute, PO Box 412, Darcy Road, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.


Adiponectin (APN), a novel hormone/cytokine derived from adipocyte tissue, is involved in various physiological functions. Genetics, nutrition, and adiposity are factors contributing to circulating plasma concentrations of APN. Clinical correlation studies have shown that lower levels of serum APN are associated with increased malignancy of various cancers, such as breast and colon cancers, suggesting that APN has a role in tumorigenesis. APN affects insulin resistance, thus further influencing cancer development. Tumor cells may express receptors for APN. Cellular signaling is the mechanism by which APN exerts its host-protective responses. These factors suggest that serum APN levels and downstream signaling targets of APN may serve as potential diagnostic markers for malignancies. Further research is necessary to clarify the exact role of APN in cancer diagnosis and therapy.


adiponectin; cancer; signaling

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