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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Jun;1838(6):1619-27. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2014.01.027. Epub 2014 Feb 10.

Regulation of the cancer cell membrane lipid composition by NaCHOleate: effects on cell signaling and therapeutical relevance in glioma.

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Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biomedicine, University of the Balearic Islands-Lipopharma Therapeutics, S.L., Palma, Spain.
Epidemiology and Clinical Research, CIMERA, Mallorca, Spain.
Cell Biology (IUNICS), University of the Balearic Islands-Lipopharma Therapeutics, S.L., Palma, Spain. Electronic address:


This review summarizes the cellular bases of the effects of NaCHOleate (2-hydroxyoleic acid; 2OHOA; Minerval) against glioma and other types of tumors. NaCHOleate, activates sphingomyelin synthase (SGMS) increasing the levels of cell membrane sphingomyelin (SM) and diacylglycerol (DAG) together with reductions of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) and phosphatidylcholine (PC). The increases in the membrane levels of NaCHOleate itself and of DAG induce a translocation and overexpression of protein kinase C (PKC) and subsequent reductions of Cyclin D, cyclin-dependent kinases 4 and 6 (CDKs 4 and 6), hypophosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein, inhibition of E2F1 and knockdown of dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) impairing DNA synthesis. In addition in some cancer cells, the increases in SM are associated with Fas receptor (FasR) capping and ligand-free induction of apoptosis. In glioma cell lines, the increases in SM are associated with the inhibition of the Ras/MAPK and PI3K/Akt pathways, in association with p27Kip1 overexpression. Finally, an analysis of the Repository of Molecular Brain Neoplasia Data (REMBRANDT) database for glioma patient survival shows that the weight of SM-related metabolism gene expression in glioma patients' survival is similar to glioma-related genes. Due to its low toxicity and anti-tumoral effect in cell and animal models its status as an orphan drug for glioma treatment by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was recently acknowledged and a phase 1/2A open label, non-randomized study was started in patients with advanced solid tumors including malignant glioma. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Membrane Structure and Function: Relevance in the Cell's Physiology, Pathology and Therapy.


Brain cancer; Cancer therapy; Cell membrane; Membrane lipid therapy; REMBRANDT; Sphingomyelin

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