Fatty Acid Synthesis in Prostate Cancer: Vulnerability or Epiphenomenon?

Cancer Res. 2021 Sep 1;81(17):4385-4393. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-21-1392. Epub 2021 Jun 18.


Tumor metabolism supports the energetic and biosynthetic needs of rapidly proliferating cancer cells and modifies intra- and intercellular signaling to enhance cancer cell invasion, metastasis, and immune evasion. Prostate cancer exhibits unique metabolism with high rates of de novo fatty acid synthesis driven by activation of the androgen receptor (AR). Increasing evidence suggests that activation of this pathway is functionally important to promote prostate cancer aggressiveness. However, the mechanisms by which fatty acid synthesis are beneficial to prostate cancer have not been well defined. In this review, we summarize evidence indicating that fatty acid synthesis drives progression of prostate cancer. We also explore explanations for this phenomenon and discuss future directions for targeting this pathway for patient benefit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipogenesis
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Progression
  • Fatty Acids / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Lipogenesis
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Androgen / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction


  • Biomarkers
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Fatty Acids
  • Receptors, Androgen