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Justyna Gogola-Mruk, Weronika Marynowicz, Kinga Krawczyk, and Anna Ptak

In brief

The role of visfatin in ovarian granulosa cell tumor (GCT) invasion and glucose metabolism reprogramming is largely unexplored. These studies imply that visfatin or its inhibitor is involved in regulating ovarian granuloma invasion by reprogramming glucose metabolism and may be a potential candidate for the diagnosis and treatment of ovarian GCT.


Visfatin is an adipokine with nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) activity, the concentration of which is higher in ascitic fluid than in serum, and is associated with ovarian cancer peritoneal dissemination. Potentially important effects of visfatin on glucose metabolism have been previously reported. However, the mechanism underlying the effects of visfatin on ovarian cancer cell invasion, and whether this involves altered glucose metabolism, has not been elucidated. Here, we tested the hypothesis that visfatin, which can reprogram cancer metabolism, promotes invasion by ovarian cancer spheroids. Visfatin increased glucose transporter (GLUT)1 expression and glucose uptake in adult granulosa cell tumor-derived spheroid cells (KGN) and also increased the activities of hexokinase 2 and lactate dehydrogenase. We showed a visfatin-induced increase in glycolysis in KGN cells. Moreover, visfatin increased the potential invasiveness of KGN spheroid cells by upregulating MMP2 (matrix metalloproteinase 2) and downregulating CLDN3 and CLDN4 (claudin 3 and 4) gene expression. Interestingly, an inhibitor of GLUT1 and lactate dehydrogenase (LDHA) abolished the stimulatory effect of visfatin on the potential invasiveness of KGN cells. More importantly, silencing expression of the NAMPT gene in KGN cells demonstrated its important effect on glycolysis and invasiveness in adult granulosa cell tumor cells (AGCTs). In summary, visfatin appears to increase AGCT invasiveness through effects on glucose metabolism and to be an important regulator of glucose metabolism in these cells.