The ACSL3-LPIAT1 signaling drives prostaglandin synthesis in non-small cell lung cancer

Oncogene. 2020 Apr;39(14):2948-2960. doi: 10.1038/s41388-020-1196-5. Epub 2020 Feb 7.


Enhanced prostaglandin production promotes the development and progression of cancer. Prostaglandins are generated from arachidonic acid (AA) by the action of cyclooxygenase (COX) isoenzymes. However, how cancer cells are able to maintain an elevated supply of AA for prostaglandin production remains unclear. Here, by using lung cancer cell lines and clinically relevant KrasG12D-driven mouse models, we show that the long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase (ACSL3) channels AA into phosphatidylinositols to provide the lysophosphatidylinositol-acyltransferase 1 (LPIAT1) with a pool of AA to sustain high prostaglandin synthesis. LPIAT1 knockdown suppresses proliferation and anchorage-independent growth of lung cancer cell lines, and hinders in vivo tumorigenesis. In primary human lung tumors, the expression of LPIAT1 is elevated compared with healthy tissue, and predicts poor patient survival. This study uncovers the ACSL3-LPIAT1 axis as a requirement for the sustained prostaglandin synthesis in lung cancer with potential therapeutic value.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • A549 Cells
  • Acyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Non-Small-Cell Lung / metabolism*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Coenzyme A Ligases / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Prostaglandins / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Prostaglandins
  • Acyltransferases
  • Mboat7 protein, mouse
  • Acsl3 protein, mouse
  • Coenzyme A Ligases
  • long-chain-fatty-acid-CoA ligase