Fatty Acid Synthase Expression Under Obese Conditions in Breast Cancer Cells
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Purpose: In women, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death, and one in eight will develop breast cancer during their lifetime. Furthermore, studies have shown that obesity has been associated with worse prognosis in some breast cancer patients. These facts led to this study on the effects of obesity on the fatty acid synthase (FASN) in breast cancer. FASN catalyzes the formation of long-chain fatty acids such as palmitate. Palmitate is commonly used as a component of the phospholipid membrane and for energy. Other types of cancer have been shown to harness the activity of the FASN in order for increased proliferation and energy. This study has two aims: 1) To determine if obesity modulates FASN expression in breast cancer cells, and 2) To determine the mechanism behind how obesity modulates FASN. Conclusions: Exposure to sera from obese women increases the presence of FASN for energy and for membrane formation in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, cells produce various factors that increase FASN expression under hypoxic conditions.