Editors' ChoiceCANCER

Tumor cells fatten up to adapt

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Science  24 Jun 2016:
Vol. 352, Issue 6293, pp. 1531-1532
DOI: 10.1126/science.352.6293.1531-g

How do cancer cells adapt to the low-oxygen and acidic conditions of the tumor microenvironment and then proliferate and spread? Menard et al. propose that they overcome these stressful conditions by storing up energy in the form of fat droplets. Cancer cells, such as glioblastoma, boosted their uptake of certain lipoproteins under these harsh conditions. In a mouse model of metastasis, this uptake increased the spread of cancer cells. Tumor cells internalized fluorescently labeled lipids by endocytosis, which required them to express heparin sulfate proteoglycans and larger amounts of lipoprotein receptors on their surface. A potential therapeutic route might be to block tumor cells from accumulating these fat reserves.

Cancer Res. 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-2831 (2016).

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