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Handb Exp Pharmacol. 2017;236:233-251. doi: 10.1007/164_2016_48.

Free Fatty Acid Receptors and Cancer: From Nutrition to Pharmacology.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Washington State University, Spokane, WA, 99210-1495, USA.
2
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, Washington State University, Spokane, WA, 99210-1495, USA. kmeier@wsu.edu.

Abstract

The effects of fatty acids on cancer cells have been studied for decades. The roles of dietary long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and of microbiome-generated short-chain butyric acid, have been of particular interest over the years. However, the roles of free fatty acid receptors (FFARs) in mediating effects of fatty acids in tumor cells have only recently been examined. In reviewing the literature, the data obtained to date indicate that the long-chain FFARs (FFA1 and FFA4) play different roles than the short-chain FFARs (FFA2 and FFA3). Moreover, FFA1 and FFA4 can in some cases mediate opposing actions in the same cell type. Another conclusion is that different types of cancer cells respond differently to FFAR activation. Currently, the best-studied models are prostate, breast, and colon cancer. FFA1 and FFA4 agonists can inhibit proliferation and migration of prostate and breast cancer cells, but enhance growth of colon cancer cells. In contrast, FFA2 activation can in some cases inhibit proliferation of colon cancer cells. Although the available data are sometimes contradictory, there are several examples in which FFAR agonists inhibit proliferation of cancer cells. This is a unique response to GPCR activation that will benefit from a mechanistic explanation as the field progresses. The development of more selective FFAR agonists and antagonists, combined with gene knockout approaches, will be important for unraveling FFAR-mediated inhibitory effects. These inhibitory actions, mediated by druggable GPCRs, hold promise for cancer prevention and/or therapy.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Free fatty acids; G-protein-coupled receptors; Omega-3 fatty acids; Proliferation

PMID:
27757756
DOI:
10.1007/164_2016_48
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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