Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cancer Res. 2007 Feb 1;67(3):1262-9.

Inhibition of fatty acid synthase induces endoplasmic reticulum stress in tumor cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Cancer Biology, Comprehensive Cancer Center, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA.


Fatty acid synthase (FAS), the cellular enzyme that synthesizes palmitate, is expressed at high levels in tumor cells and is vital for their survival. Through the synthesis of palmitate, FAS primarily drives the synthesis of phospholipids in tumor cells. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that the FAS inhibitors induce endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in tumor cells. Treatment of tumor cells with FAS inhibitors induces robust PERK-dependent phosphorylation of the translation initiation factor eIF2alpha and concomitant inhibition of protein synthesis. PERK-deficient transformed mouse embryonic fibroblasts and HT-29 colon carcinoma cells that express a dominant negative PERK (DeltaC-PERK) are hypersensitive to FAS inhibitor-induced cell death. Pharmacologic inhibition of FAS also induces the processing of X-box binding protein-1, indicating that the IRE1 arm of the ER stress response is activated when FAS is inhibited. Induction of ER stress is further confirmed by the increased expression of the ER stress-regulated genes CHOP, ATF4, and GRP78. FAS inhibitor-induced ER stress is activated prior to the detection of caspase 3 and PARP cleavage, primary indicators of cell death, whereas orlistat-induced cell death is rescued by coincubation with the global translation inhibitor cycloheximide. Lastly, FAS inhibitors cooperate with the ER stress inducer thapsigargin to enhance tumor cell killing. These results provide the first evidence that FAS inhibitors induce ER stress and establish an important mechanistic link between FAS activity and ER function.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Publication Types, MeSH Terms, Substances, Grant Support

Publication Types

MeSH Terms


Grant Support

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk