Obesity and androgen receptor signaling: Associations and potential crosstalk in breast cancer cells
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Obesity is an increasing health challenge and is recognized as a breast cancer risk factor. Although obesity-related breast cancer mechanisms are not fully understood, this association has been linked to impaired hormone secretion by the dysfunctional obese adipose tissue (hyperplasic and hypertrophic adipocytes). Among these hormones, altered production of androgens and adipokines is observed, and both, are independently associated with breast cancer development. In this review, we describe and comment on the relationships reported between these factors and breast cancer, focusing on the biological associations that have helped to unveil the mechanisms by which signaling from androgens and adipokines modifies the behavior of mammary epithelial cells. Furthermore, we discuss the potential crosstalk between the two most abundant adipokines produced by the adipose tissue (adiponectin and leptin) and the androgen receptor, an emerging marker in breast cancer. The identification and understanding of interactions among adipokines and the androgen receptor in cancer cells are necessary to guide the development of new therapeutic approaches in order to prevent and cure obesity and breast cancer.
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