LIF, a multifunctional cytokine, is frequently overexpressed in many types of solid tumors, including breast cancer, and plays an important role in promoting tumorigenesis. Currently, how LIF promotes tumorigenesis is not well-understood. Metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer cells and a key contributor to cancer progression. However, the role of LIF in cancer metabolic reprogramming is unclear. In this study, we found that LIF increases glucose uptake and drives glycolysis, contributing to breast tumorigenesis. Blocking glucose uptake largely abolishes the promoting effect of LIF on breast tumorigenesis. Mechanistically, LIF overexpression enhances glucose uptake via activating the AKT/GLUT1 axis to promote glycolysis. Blocking the AKT signaling by shRNA or its inhibitors greatly inhibits glycolysis driven by LIF and largely abolishes the promoting effect of LIF on breast tumorigenesis. These results demonstrate an important role of LIF overexpression in glucose metabolism reprogramming in breast cancers, which contributes to breast tumorigenesis. This study also reveals an important mechanism underlying metabolic reprogramming of breast cancers, and identifies LIF and its downstream signaling as potential therapeutic targets for breast cancers, especially those with LIF overexpression.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology
- Cancer Research