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Biochem Pharmacol. 2001 Mar 15;61(6):639-49.

Growth reduction in glioma cells after treatment with tetradecylthioacetic acid: changes in fatty acid metabolism and oxidative status.

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Department of Clinical Biochemistry, University of Bergen, Haukeland Hospital, N-5021, Bergen, Norway.


During aerobic metabolism, a small amount of partially reduced oxygen is produced, yielding reactive oxygen species (ROS). Peroxisomes and mitochondria are major contributors to cellular ROS production, which is normally balanced by consumption by antioxidants. The fatty acid analogue tetradecylthioacetic acid (TTA) promotes mitochondrial and peroxisomal proliferation, and may induce oxidative stress and change the growth potential of cancer cells. In the present study, we found that TTA reduced [(3)H]thymidine incorporation in the glioma cell lines BT4Cn (rat), D54Mg (human), and GaMg (human) in a dose- and time-dependent manner. The 50% inhibitory TTA doses were approximately 125 microM for BT4Cn and D54Mg cells and 40 microM for GaMg cells after 4 days. alpha-Tochopherol counteracted this inhibition in GaMg cells. TTA enhanced the oxidation of [1-(14)C]palmitic acid, which could be explained by stimulation of enzymes involved in peroxisomal (fatty acyl-CoA oxidase) and/or mitochondrial (carnitine palmitoyltransferase) fatty acid oxidation. The glutathione content and the activities of glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and glutathione S-transferase were differentially affected. Increased malondialdehyde (MDA) production was seen in TTA-treated GaMg and D54Mg cells, but not in BT4Cn cells, in vitro. In BT4Cn tumor tissue from TTA-treated rats, MDA was increased while the alpha-tocopherol content tended to decrease. TTA increased the level of cytosolic cytochrome c in BT4Cn cells, which suggests induction of apoptotic cascades. Although several mechanisms are likely to be involved in the TTA-mediated effects on growth, we propose that modulation of cellular redox conditions caused by changes in fatty acid metabolism may be of vital importance.

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