Background: Long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase-4 (ACSL4) is involved in fatty acid metabolism, and aberrant ACSL4 expression could be either tumorigenic or tumor-suppressive in different tumor types. However, the function and clinical significance of ACSL4 in lung adenocarcinoma remain elusive.
Results: ACSL4 was frequently downregulated in lung adenocarcinoma when analyzing both the TCGA database and the validation samples, and the lower ACSL4 expression was correlated with a worse prognosis. Using gene set enrichment analysis, we found that high ACSL4 expression was frequently associated with the oxidative stress pathway, especially ferroptosis-related proteins. In vitro functional studies showed that knockdown of ACSL4 increased tumor survival/invasiveness and inhibited ferroptosis, while ACSL4 overexpression exhibited the opposite effects. Moreover, high-fat treatment could also inhibit erastin-induced ferroptosis by affecting ACSL4 expression. The anti-tumor effects of ferroptosis inducers and the anti-ferroptosis effects of the high-fat diet were further validated using the mouse xenograft model.
Conclusions: ACSL4 plays a tumor-suppressive role in lung adenocarcinoma by suppressing tumor survival/invasiveness and promoting ferroptosis. Our study provided a theoretical reference for the application of ferroptotic inducers and dietary guidance for lung adenocarcinoma patients.
Keywords: Ferroptosis; High-fat diet; Long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase-4; Lung adenocarcinoma.