Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) possesses a vital role in mammalian cells due to its activity as a rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) from nicotinamide. NAD is an essential redox cofactor, but it also functions as a substrate for NAD-consuming enzymes, regulating multiple cellular processes such as DNA repair and gene expression, fundamental to sustain tumor growth and survival and energetic needs. A common strategy that several tumor types adopt to sustain NAD synthesis is to over-express NAMPT. However, beside its intracellular functions, this enzyme has a second life outside of cells exerting cytokine-like functions and mediating pro-inflammatory conditions activating signaling pathways. While the effects of NAMPT/NAD axis on energetic metabolism in tumors has been well-established, increasing evidence demonstrated the impact of NAMPT over-expression (intra-/extra-cellular) on several tumor cellular processes, including DNA repair, gene expression, signaling pathways, proliferation, invasion, stemness, phenotype plasticity, metastatization, angiogenesis, immune regulation, and drug resistance. For all these reasons, NAMPT targeting has emerged as promising anti-cancer strategy to deplete NAD and impair cellular metabolism, but also to counteract the other NAMPT-related functions. In this review, we summarize the key role of NAMPT in multiple biological processes implicated in cancer biology and the impact of NAMPT inhibition as therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment.
NAMPT: A critical driver and therapeutic target for cancer / Gasparrini, Massimiliano; Audrito, Valentina. - In: THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF BIOCHEMISTRY & CELL BIOLOGY. - ISSN 1357-2725. - 145:(2022), p. 106189. [10.1016/j.biocel.2022.106189]