Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Fatty acid metabolite shows promise against cancer in mice

03.04.2013
UC Davis discovery demonstrates mechanism in dietary omega-3 fatty acids (fish oils)

A team of UC Davis scientists has found that a product resulting from a metabolized omega-3 fatty acid helps combat cancer by cutting off the supply of oxygen and nutrients that fuel tumor growth and spread of the disease.

The scientists report their discovery in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The groundbreaking study was a collaboration among multiple UC Davis laboratories and Harvard University.

The metabolite is epoxy docosapentaenoic acid (EDP), an endogenous compound produced by the human body from the omega-3 fatty acid named docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is found in fish oil and breast milk. In animal studies, the UC Davis scientists found that EDP inhibits angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels in the body.

Tumors grow and spread by hijacking the normal biological process of angiogenesis, which plays a role in wound repair as well in growth and development. The UC Davis researchers determined that by inhibiting angiogenesis, EDP reduces the growth and spread (metastasis) of tumors in mice. The research provides the first scientific evidence about EDP’s potent anti-cancer, anti-metastatic effects.

EDP works by a different mechanism than many current anti-cancer drugs that block angiogenesis.

“Our investigation opens up a new understanding of the pathways by which omega-3 fatty acids exert their biologic effects,” said Guodong Zhang, the lead author of the article and a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Bruce Hammock in the Department of Entomology and the UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The researchers said that future studies hopefully will determine that stabilized EDP can be safely and effectively combined with other current anti-angiogenesis drugs in the treatment of cancer.

“As far as we know, EDPs are the first signaling lipids that have been discovered to have such potent anti-cancer effects. Researchers may be able to use EDPs as structural targets to develop stable analogs as anti-cancer agents,” Zhang said.

“The study by Zhang and colleagues has uncovered a previously unrecognized anti-cancer effect of omega-3 fatty acids, which are an important lipid component of diets that have been developed to prevent heart disease and cancer,” said Jonathan R. Lindner, professor of medicine at Oregon Health & Sciences University.

“The authors have demonstrated that metabolites of these lipids can act to suppress the growth of new blood vessels that are necessary to feed tumor growth,” added Lindner, who was not involved in the study. “By shutting off a tumor’s blood supply, these compounds can act to dramatically slow tumor growth and prevent spread. The results from this study suggest that new drug strategies for fighting cancer could emerge from knowledge of how the body uses nutrition to promote health.”

The EDPs are broken down in the body by the enzyme soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH). In previous research, Hammock’s lab showed that inhibitors of the sEHI enzyme (sEHIs) help to normalize physiological activity. In the current study, UC Davis researchers determined that the addition of sEHI stabilized EDP in circulating blood thereby producing EDPs’ anti-tumor effects. The FDA-approved anti-cancer drugs sorafenib and regorafenib are also potent sEHIs.

“It may be possible to improve the efficacy of these anti-cancer drugs by combining them with a diet high in omega-3 and low in omega-6 fatty acids,” Hammock said.

The researchers also found that a metabolite of arachidonic acid (ARA), an omega-6 fatty acid, has the opposite effect of EDP. The ARA metabolite, epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs), slightly increases angiogenesis and tumor progression in mice.

“There is no free lunch,” said Katherine W. Ferrara, professor in the UC Davis Department of Biomedical Engineering. “The EETs encourage wound healing, while the EDPs block the growth and metastasis of solid tumors.

“Our results designate EDPs and EETs as unique mediators of an angiogenic switch to regulate tumorigenesis,” Ferrara said. "They also implicate a novel mechanistic linkage between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and cancers."

UC Davis scientists determined that EDP starves tumors by inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2)-induced angiogenesis in mice. In laboratory cultures, EDP also suppresses the endothelial cell migration needed for new blood vessels.

Thus, EDP-based angiogenesis inhibitors offer an advantage over angiogenesis inhibitors that target the VEGF-VEGFR2 pathway. The drugs that target the VEGF-VEFGFR2 pathway increase patients’ risk for high blood pressure.

Because EDPs widen the blood vessels, a medication based on the UC Davis researchers’ discovery should not increase the patient’s risk for high blood pressure.

Harvard researchers Mark Kieran and Dipak Panigrahy conducted the metastasis studies. The in vivo imaging work that allowed the scientists to monitor tumors in living mice was done in Ferrara’s UC Davis laboratory.

UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center
UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only National Cancer Institute-designated center serving the Central Valley and inland Northern California, a region of more than 6 million people. Its specialists provide compassionate, comprehensive care for more than 9,000 adults and children every year, and access to more than 150 clinical trials at any given time. Its innovative research program engages more than 280 scientists at UC Davis, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Jackson Laboratory (JAX West), whose scientific partnerships advance discovery of new tools to diagnose and treat cancer. Through the Cancer Care Network, UC Davis collaborates with a number of hospitals and clinical centers throughout the Central Valley and Northern California regions to offer the latest cancer care. Its community-based outreach and education programs address disparities in cancer outcomes across diverse populations.

Dorsey Griffith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://cancer.ucdavis.edu
http://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht 'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells
20.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

nachricht New printing technique uses cells and molecules to recreate biological structures
20.02.2018 | Queen Mary University of London

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

'Lipid asymmetry' plays key role in activating immune cells

20.02.2018 | Life Sciences

MRI technique differentiates benign breast lesions from malignancies

20.02.2018 | Medical Engineering

Major discovery in controlling quantum states of single atoms

20.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>