Fatty acid activation in carcinogenesis and cancer development: Essential roles of long‑chain acyl‑CoA synthetases (Review)

  • Authors:
    • Yue Tang
    • Jing Zhou
    • Shing Chuan Hooi
    • Yue‑Ming Jiang
    • Guo‑Dong Lu
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: May 30, 2018     https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2018.8843
  • Pages: 1390-1396
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Abstract

The significance of fatty acid metabolism in cancer initiation and development is increasingly accepted by scientists and the public due to the high prevalence of overweight and obese individuals. Fatty acids have different turnovers in the body: Either breakdown into acetyl‑CoA to aid ATP generation through catabolic metabolism or incorporation into triacylglycerol and phospholipid through anabolic metabolism. However, these two distinct pathways require a common initial step known as fatty acid activation. Long‑chain acyl‑CoA synthetases (ACSLs), which are responsible for activation of the most abundant long‑chain fatty acids, are commonly deregulated in cancer. This deregulation is also associated with poor survival in patients with cancer. Fatty acids physiologically regulate ACSL expression, but cancer cells could hijack certain involved regulatory mechanisms to deregulate ACSLs. Among the five family isoforms, ACSL1 and ACSL4 are able to promote ungoverned cell growth, facilitate tumor invasion and evade programmed cell death, while ACSL3 may have relatively complex functions in different types of cancer. Notably, ACSL4 is also essential for the induction of ferroptosis (another form of programmed cell death) by facilitating arachidonic acid oxidation, which makes the enzyme a desirable cancer target. The present review thus evaluates the functions of deregulated ACSLs in cancer, the possible molecular mechanisms involved and the chemotherapeutic potentials to target ACSLs. A better understanding of the pathological effects of ACSLs in cancer and the involved molecular mechanisms will aid in delineating the exact role of fatty acid metabolism in cancer and designing precise cancer prevention and treatment strategies.
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August 2018
Volume 16 Issue 2

Print ISSN: 1792-1074
Online ISSN:1792-1082

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APA
Tang, Y., Zhou, J., Hooi, S.C., Jiang, Y., & Lu, G. (2018). Fatty acid activation in carcinogenesis and cancer development: Essential roles of long‑chain acyl‑CoA synthetases (Review). Oncology Letters, 16, 1390-1396. https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2018.8843
MLA
Tang, Y., Zhou, J., Hooi, S. C., Jiang, Y., Lu, G."Fatty acid activation in carcinogenesis and cancer development: Essential roles of long‑chain acyl‑CoA synthetases (Review)". Oncology Letters 16.2 (2018): 1390-1396.
Chicago
Tang, Y., Zhou, J., Hooi, S. C., Jiang, Y., Lu, G."Fatty acid activation in carcinogenesis and cancer development: Essential roles of long‑chain acyl‑CoA synthetases (Review)". Oncology Letters 16, no. 2 (2018): 1390-1396. https://doi.org/10.3892/ol.2018.8843