Low levels of lipogenic enzymes in peritumoral adipose tissue of colorectal cancer patients

Lipids. 2012 Jan;47(1):59-63. doi: 10.1007/s11745-011-3630-5. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is the crucial enzyme for intravascular catabolism of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins. Fatty acid synthase (FAS) is a key anabolic enzyme that catalyzes the terminal steps in the novo biosynthesis of 18:2n-6. The involvement of both LPL and FAS in tumor biology has been widely demonstrated in different studies and to verify whether there are regional differences in the expression of these enzymes in visceral adipose tissue from patients with colorectal cancer might be representative of events which sustain tumor growth. The objective of this study was to evaluate LPL and FAS activity and expression of their genes in adipose tissue adjacent to neoplasia and distant from it from patients operated for colorectal cancer. LPL enzymatic activity was evaluated by a fluorescent method and FAS activity by a radiometer assay. Reverse-transcription and real-time PCR were used to detect mRNA levels of two enzymes. Our findings show a significant reduction in both LPL and FAS gene expression and activity levels in adipose tissue adjacent to tumor lesion compared to those detected in paired tissue distant from neoplasia. These results underline the influence of tumor microenvironment on lipid metabolism in adipose tissue, demonstrating a tumor-induced impairment in the formation and lipid storing capacity of adipose tissue in patients with colorectal cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / enzymology*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Fatty Acid Synthase, Type I / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic*
  • Humans
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / enzymology*
  • Intra-Abdominal Fat / pathology
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipoprotein Lipase / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiometry
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Tissue Extracts / chemistry
  • Tumor Microenvironment*


  • Tissue Extracts
  • FASN protein, human
  • Fatty Acid Synthase, Type I
  • LPL protein, human
  • Lipoprotein Lipase