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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Synthesis and antitumor activity of an inhibitor of fatty acid synthase.

Compared to normal human tissues, many common human cancers, including carcinoma of the colon, prostate, ovary, breast, and endometrium, express high levels of fatty acid synthase ( FAS, EC ), the primary enzyme responsible for the synthesis of fatty acids. This differential expression of FAS between normal tissues and cancer has led to the notion that FAS is a target for anticancer drug development. Recent studies with C75, an inhibitor of fatty acid synthesis, have shown significant antitumor activity with concomitant inhibition of fatty acid synthesis in tumor tissue and normal liver. Importantly, histopathological analysis of normal tissues after C75 treatment showed no adverse effects on proliferating cellular compartments, such as bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, skin, or lymphoid tissues. In this study, we describe the de novo synthesis of C75 based on the known mechanism of action of cerulenin and the theoretical reaction intermediates of the beta-ketoacyl synthase moiety of FAS. In addition, we demonstrate that C75 is a synthetic, chemically stable inhibitor of FAS. C75 inhibits purified mammalian FAS with characteristics of a slow-binding inhibitor and also inhibits fatty acid synthesis in human cancer cells. Treatment of human breast cancer cells with [5-(3)H]C75 demonstrates that C75 reacts preferentially with FAS in whole cells. Therefore, we have shown that the primary mechanism of the antitumor activity of C75 is likely mediated through its interaction with, and inhibition of, FAS. This development will enable the in vivo study of FAS inhibition in human cancer and other metabolic diseases.[1]


  1. Synthesis and antitumor activity of an inhibitor of fatty acid synthase. Kuhajda, F.P., Pizer, E.S., Li, J.N., Mani, N.S., Frehywot, G.L., Townsend, C.A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2000) [Pubmed]
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