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Monoacylglycerol lipase exerts dual control over endocannabinoid and fatty acid pathways to support prostate cancer.

The Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology and Department of Chemical Physiology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
Chemistry & biology (Impact Factor: 6.59). 07/2011; 18(7):846-56. DOI: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2011.05.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cancer cells couple heightened lipogenesis with lipolysis to produce fatty acid networks that support malignancy. Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) plays a principal role in this process by converting monoglycerides, including the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), to free fatty acids. Here, we show that MAGL is elevated in androgen-independent versus androgen-dependent human prostate cancer cell lines, and that pharmacological or RNA-interference disruption of this enzyme impairs prostate cancer aggressiveness. These effects were partially reversed by treatment with fatty acids or a cannabinoid receptor-1 (CB1) antagonist, and fully reversed by cotreatment with both agents. We further show that MAGL is part of a gene signature correlated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and the stem-like properties of cancer cells, supporting a role for this enzyme in protumorigenic metabolism that, for prostate cancer, involves the dual control of endocannabinoid and fatty acid pathways.

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