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In recent years, lipid metabolism has gained greater attention in several diseases including cancer. Dysregulation of fatty acid metabolism is a key component in breast cancer malignant transformation. In particular, de novo lipogenesis provides the substrate required by the proliferating tumor cells to maintain their membrane composition and energetic functions during enhanced growth. However, it appears that not all breast cancer subtypes depend on de novo lipogenesis for fatty acid replenishment. Indeed, while breast cancer luminal subtypes rely on de novo lipogenesis, the basal-like receptor-negative subtype overexpresses genes involved in the utilization of exogenous-derived fatty acids, in the synthesis of triacylglycerols and lipid droplets, and fatty acid oxidation. These metabolic differences are specifically associated with genomic and proteomic changes that can perturb lipogenic enzymes and related pathways. This behavior is further supported by the observation that breast cancer patients can be stratified according to their molecular profiles. Moreover, the discovery that extracellular vesicles act as a vehicle of metabolic enzymes and oncometabolites may provide the opportunity to noninvasively define tumor metabolic signature. Here, we focus on de novo lipogenesis and the specific differences exhibited by breast cancer subtypes and examine the functional contribution of lipogenic enzymes and associated transcription factors in the regulation of tumorigenic processes.


Pasquale Simeone, Stefano Tacconi, Serena Longo, Paola Lanuti, Sara Bravaccini, Francesca Pirini, Sara Ravaioli, Luciana Dini, Anna M Giudetti. Expanding Roles of De Novo Lipogenesis in Breast Cancer. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2021 Mar 30;18(7)

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PMID: 33808259

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