Fatty acid synthase inhibitor cerulenin suppresses liver metastasis of colon cancer in mice

Cancer Sci. 2010 Aug;101(8):1861-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1349-7006.2010.01596.x. Epub 2010 Apr 21.


Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is highly expressed in many kinds of human cancers, including colorectal cancer (CRC), and we have investigated the potential use of FAS inhibitors for chemoprevention of liver metastasis of CRC in mice. Expression of FAS was evaluated in murine CRC cell lines Colon 26 and CMT 93. Cerulenin, a natural inhibitor of FAS, induced apoptosis in these cell lines. The ability of cerulenin to prevent development of liver metastatic lesions in Colon 26 was evaluated. The numbers and sizes of liver metastatic CRC tumors were significantly reduced by treating mice with cerulenin. Cerulenin treatment was associated with reduced levels of phosphorylated Akt in Colon 26 cells, suggesting that inhibition of this signal transduction pathway might be involved in the chemopreventive activity of this compound. Based on studies in mouse models, inhibiting FAS would be an effective strategy to prevent and retard growth of liver metastatic tumors of CRC that have high expression of this enzyme.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caspases / physiology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cerulenin / therapeutic use*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Fatty Acid Synthases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lipogenesis / drug effects
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / secondary*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C


  • Cerulenin
  • Fatty Acid Synthases
  • Caspases