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Cancer Res. 2009 Dec 15;69(24):9175-82. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-4689.

Acyl-CoA synthetase VL3 knockdown inhibits human glioma cell proliferation and tumorigenicity.

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Hugo W. Moser Research Institute at Kennedy Krieger and Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.


The contribution of lipid metabolic pathways to malignancy is poorly understood. Expression of the fatty acyl-CoA synthetase ACSVL3 was found to be markedly elevated in clinical malignant glioma specimens but nearly undetectable in normal glia. ACSVL3 levels correlated with the malignant behavior of human glioma cell lines and glioma cells propagated as xenografts. ACSVL3 expression was induced by the activation of oncogenic receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK) c-Met and epidermal growth factor receptor. Inhibiting c-Met activation with neutralizing anti-hepatocyte growth factor monoclonal antibodies reduced ACSVL3 expression concurrent with tumor growth inhibition in vivo. ACSVL3 expression knockdown using RNA interference, which decreased long-chain fatty acid activation, inhibited anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent glioma cell growth by approximately 70% and approximately 90%, respectively. ACSVL3-depleted cells were less tumorigenic than control cells, and subcutaneous xenografts grew approximately 60% slower than control tumors. Orthotopic xenografts produced by ACSVL3-depleted cells were 82% to 86% smaller than control xenografts. ACSVL3 knockdown disrupted Akt function as evidenced by RTK-induced transient decreases in total and phosphorylated Akt, as well as glycogen synthase kinase 3beta, via a caspase-dependent mechanism. Expressing constitutively active myr-Akt rescued cells from the anchorage-dependent and anchorage-independent growth inhibitory effects of ACSVL3 depletion. These studies show that ACSVL3 maintains oncogenic properties of malignant glioma cells via a mechanism that involves, in part, the regulation of Akt function.

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