Mitochondrial free fatty acid β-oxidation supports oxidative phosphorylation and proliferation in cancer cells

The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
Sara Rodríguez-EnríquezRafael Moreno-Sánchez


Oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos) is functional and sustains tumor proliferation in several cancer cell types. To establish whether mitochondrial β-oxidation of free fatty acids (FFAs) contributes to cancer OxPhos functioning, its protein contents and enzyme activities, as well as respiratory rates and electrical membrane potential (ΔΨm) driven by FFA oxidation were assessed in rat AS-30D hepatoma and liver (RLM) mitochondria. Higher protein contents (1.4-3 times) of β-oxidation (CPT1, SCAD) as well as proteins and enzyme activities (1.7-13-times) of Krebs cycle (KC: ICD, 2OGDH, PDH, ME, GA), and respiratory chain (RC: COX) were determined in hepatoma mitochondria vs. RLM. Although increased cholesterol content (9-times vs. RLM) was determined in the hepatoma mitochondrial membranes, FFAs and other NAD-linked substrates were oxidized faster (1.6-6.6 times) by hepatoma mitochondria than RLM, maintaining similar ΔΨm values. The contents of β-oxidation, KC and RC enzymes were also assessed in cells. The mitochondrial enzyme levels in human cervix cancer HeLa and AS-30D cells were higher than those observed in rat hepatocytes whereas in human breast cancer biopsies, CPT1 and SCAD contents were lower than in human breast normal tis...Continue Reading


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