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Int J Oncol. 2010 May;36(5):1309-14.

Fatty acid synthesis is a therapeutic target in human liposarcoma.

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Department of Surgery, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, NH, USA.


Liposarcomas (LS) are mesenchymal tumors that can recur after surgical resection and often do not respond to presently available medical therapies. This study demonstrates the dependence of LS on de novo long-chain fatty acid synthesis for growth. Lipogenesis can be impaired by inhibiting the activities of lipogenic enzymes, including acetyl CoA-carboxylase (ACC) and fatty acid synthase (FASN), or by suppressing the expression of key genes involved in the pathway and its regulation. The FASN inhibitors cerulenin and orlistat reduced the growth of two LS cell lines (LiSa2, SW872), as did inhibition of ACC with soraphen A. CDDO-Me, a synthetic triterpenoid, suppressed expression of Spot 14 and FASN genes and likewise inhibited LS cell growth. Importantly, the anti-proliferative effect of each agent was prevented by the co-administration of palmitate, the major product of cellular long-chain fatty acid synthesis. In stark contrast to LS cells, these compounds had no effect on the growth of fibroblasts. Four biochemically distinct agents that target critical points in the fatty acid synthetic pathway exert anti-proliferative effects on LS cells, and rescue of cell growth by palmitic acid suggests that reduced tumor cell lipogenesis mediates the growth inhibition. These findings warrant further studies aimed at the clinical exploitation of the dependence of LS cell growth on fatty acids.

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