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Anticancer Res. 1991 Jul-Aug;11(4):1383-8.

Modulation of gene expression by selected fatty acids in human breast cancer cells.

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Breast Cancer Research Laboratory, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, N.Y. 10021.


The effect of linoleic acid (LNA, n-6) and eicosopentanoic acid (EPA, n-3) was investigated on the parental MCF-7 cells and those transfected with v-H-ras. Transfection of v-H-ras oncogene renders the normally estrogen dependent MCF-7 cells estrogen independent. The effects of LNA and EPA in both the cell lines were measured by their ability to enhance the steady state cytoplasmic mRNA levels of 1-8 and 2-5 A, two genes whose transcription is enhanced in various cells in response to interferons (IFNs). The modulatory effect of these fatty acids on the level of an oncogene HER-2/neu was also investigated. Our results indicate that both the fatty acids induce mRNA 1-8 in parental MCF-7 cells but not in the ras transfected cell line, although the gene is induced in both cell lines in response to IFNs. mRNA 2-5A was not induced by LNA or EPA in either of the cell lines. HER-2/neu levels were enhanced by EPA in MCF-7-ras cells. Our data provide evidence to support the concept that selected, nutritionally relevant, fatty acids can regulate gene expression in vitro. These fatty acids can also induce second messenger signals similar to the ones generated by IFNs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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