Category Archives: Molecular

To Shift Gears of Prostate Cancer Migration

Alteration of lipid metabolism is increasingly recognized as a signature of cancer cells. It’s  reported that accumulation of aberrant cholesteryl ester is found in advanced prostate cancers with PTEN loss and PI3K/AKT activation. And inhibition of cholesterol esterification impairs cancer aggressiveness.


Prostate cancer cells becoming rounder and sprouting projections

Additionally , the scientists from The University of Manchester combine prostate cancer cells in the lab with arachidonic acid (AA), an omega-6 fatty acid that has been shown to attract prostate cancer cells to the bone marrow, and uncover a link between cholesterol and prostate cancer’s ability to spread to the bones in a study published in the British Journal of Cancer.

They ascertain how naturally occurring fatty acids in the bone marrow directly interact with the body’s system of manufacturing cholesterol to enhance prostate cancer cells’ ability to spread. These findings give clues to prostate cancer migration and help explain why taking statins – commonly used cholesterol-lowering drugs – is thought to slow the progress of the disease in some cases.

“Prostate cancer spreading to the bones is a major challenge for doctors and unfortunately it’s very difficult to treat. ” said Nell Barrie, senior science information manager at Cancer Research , “Altering cholesterol metabolism or blocking the ways in which prostate cancer cells are able to change their shape, and thereby their ability to spread, could lead to major advances in treating men with aggressive forms of the disease.”


Arachidonic acid induction of Rho mediated transendothelial migration in prostate cancer British Journal of Cancer. Br J Cancer. 2014 Apr 15;110(8):2099-108.

Cholesteryl Ester Accumulation Induced by PTEN Loss and PI3K/AKT Activation Underlies Human Prostate Cancer Aggressiveness. Cell Metabolism, 2014, 3(19):393-406