Researchers from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University
of Turku have discovered four metabolic enzymes regulating prostate cancer
cell growth. Inhibition of these enzymes prevents prostate cancer cell growth
in cultured cells. This knowledge can be used to identify different subtypes
of prostate cancer and for designing targeted therapies for prostate cancer.
Eicosanoid hormones, which are metabolites of arachidonic acid found in
animal-based foods, such as eggs and meat, are essential regulators of normal
bodily functions. Metabolic dysfunction relating to these bioactive lipids
plays a role in many diseases. Prostate cancer cells use increased arachidonic
acid metabolism and eicosanoid production to fuel their enhanced growth.
In addition to previously discovered enzymes that contribute to prostate
cancer cell growth, the new study published by researchers from VTT and the
University of Turku identifies four enzymes that regulate arachidonic acid
metabolism and reveals that prostate cancer cell growth can be inhibited by
preventing the functioning of these enzymes.
analysed the prevalence of enzymes involved in arachidonic acid metabolism in
hundreds of prostate cancer samples, normal prostate samples, and other
healthy tissues. The enzymes with the highest expression in prostate cancer
samples were selected for further studies in prostate cancer cells. The
scientists discovered that certain enzymes were more prevalent than others in
different kinds of prostate cancers. This knowledge can be used to identify
different subtypes of prostate cancer in the future. The findings of the study
provide valuable new information and can potentially lead to the discovery of
new ways to treat prostate cancer.
The findings relating to
the prevalence and effects of enzymes involved in arachidonic acid metabolism
were published in The American Journal of Pathology in February 2011
(Arachidonic Acid Pathway Members PLA2G7, HPGD, EPHX2, and CYP4F8 Identified
as Putative Novel Therapeutic Targets in Prostate Cancer. The American Journal
of Pathology, Volume 178, Issue 2, Pages 525–536, February 2011)
1: Immunohistochemical staining demonstrates how one of the discovered enzymes
is expressed in the prostate. A prostate of a healthy 70-year-old man is shown
on the left and a sample from a prostate cancer patient on the right.
2: The images show how blocking the operation of one of the discovered enzymes
prevents the growth of prostate cancer cells (left) and increases programmed
cell death (right) compared to the control sample.