Increased de novo synthesis of fatty acids is a distinctive feature of prostate cancer, which continues to be a leading cause of cancer-related deaths among American men. Therefore, inhibition of de novo fatty acid synthesis represents an attractive strategy for chemoprevention of prostate cancer. We have shown previously that dietary feeding of phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a phytochemical derived from edible cruciferous vegetables such as watercress, inhibits incidence and burden of poorly-differentiated prostate cancer in Transgenic Adenocarcinoma of Mouse Prostate (TRAMP) model. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis of whether fatty acid intermediate(s) can serve as noninvasive biomarker(s) of prostate cancer chemoprevention by PEITC using archived plasma and tumor specimens from the TRAMP study as well as cellular models of prostate cancer. Exposure of prostate cancer cells (LNCaP and 22Rv1) to pharmacological concentrations of PEITC resulted in downregulation of key fatty acid metabolism proteins, including acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 (ACC1), fatty acid synthase (FASN), and carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A (CPT1A). The mRNA expression of FASN and CPT1A as well as acetyl-CoA levels were decreased by PEITC treatment in both cell lines. PEITC administration to TRAMP mice also resulted in a significant decrease in tumor expression of FASN protein. Consistent with these findings, the levels of total free fatty acids, total phospholipids, triglyceride, and ATP were significantly lower in the plasma and/or prostate tumors of PEITC-treated TRAMP mice compared with controls. The present study is the first to implicate inhibition of fatty acid synthesis in prostate cancer chemoprevention by PEITC.
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