Stearoyl CoA desaturase-1: New insights into a central regulator of cancer metabolism

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016 Dec;1861(12 Pt A):1865-1880. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2016.09.009. Epub 2016 Sep 14.


The processes of cell proliferation, cell death and differentiation involve an intricate array of biochemical and morphological changes that require a finely tuned modulation of metabolic pathways, chiefly among them is fatty acid metabolism. The critical participation of stearoyl CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1), the fatty acyl Δ9-desaturing enzyme that converts saturated fatty acids (SFA) into monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), in the mechanisms of replication and survival of mammalian cells, as well as their implication in the biological alterations of cancer have been actively investigated in recent years. This review examines the growing body of evidence that argues for a role of SCD1 as a central regulator of the complex synchronization of metabolic and signaling events that control cellular metabolism, cell cycle progression, survival, differentiation and transformation to cancer.

Keywords: Cancer; MUFA synthesis; Metabolism; Transduction signaling; Tumor growth; Tyrosine kinase receptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation / physiology
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / physiology
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase / metabolism*


  • Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase