Molecular Mechanisms Linking Adiponectin Receptor Signalling and Cancer

Atsushi Nakajima*, 1, Hiroki Endo1, Kyoko Yoneda1, Toshio Fujisawa1, Michiko Sugiyama1, Kunihiro Hosono1, Yuichi Nozaki1, Hirokazu Takahashi1, Koji Fujita1, Masato Yoneda1, Masahiko Inamori1, Takashi Shimamura1, Noritoshi Kobayashi1, Hiroyuki Kirikoshi1, Kensuke Kubota1, Satoru Saito1, Koichiro Wada2, Hitoshi Nakagama3
1 Division of Gastroenterology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan
2 Department of Pharmacology, Graduate School of Dentistry, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan
3 Biochemistry Division, National Cancer Center Research Institute, Tokyo, Japan

© 2010 Nakajima et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Division of Gastroenterology, Yokohama City University School of Medicine, 3-9 Fuku-ura, Kanazawaku, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan; Tel: +81-45-787-2640; Fax: +81-45-784- 3546; E-mail:


Adiponectin is an adipose tissue-derived hormone. It is a key hormone that is responsible for insulin sensitization, and its circulating level is inversely associated with abdominal obesity. Recent studies have shown that a reduced plasma adiponectin level is significantly correlated with the risk of various kinds of cancers. Adiponectin may influence the cancer risk by modulating the metabolic environment indirectly. However several cancer cells express adiponectin receptors, suggesting that adiponectin also may modulate the cancer progression directly. Herein, we review the recent evidence concerning the molecular mechanisms linking adiponectin receptor signaling and cancer. Further studies are required to fully elucidate the molecular mechanisms of the adiponectin-mediated signaling pathway in cancer.

Keywords: Adiponectin, colorectal cancer, visceral fat, highfat diet, AMPK, mTOR.