Colon cancer is one of the most common cancer types. Its positive correlation with general obesity has led to increasing amounts of research focusing on the role of adipokines in colon cancer development. Apelin is a peptide released by adipose tissue that could affect many cellular processes connected with carcinogenesis. In this study, we examined the role of apelin in the motility regulation of colon cancer cells. We showed that the effect of four different apelin peptides increased the ability of cancer cells to migrate and invade examined cells trough influencing migratory protrusions formation and actin cytoskeleton rearrangement. Additionally, using confocal microscopy, we noticed that apelin stimulated the proteolytic activity of cancer cells, especially increasing the level of membrane-type 1 matrix metalloprotease. Taken together, apelin increased the movement of colon cancer cells through several possible mechanisms. Moreover, better understanding the process through which apelin regulates cancer development is still necessary to the creation of novel anti-cancer therapy.
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