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Open AccessArticle

Exogenous Fatty Acids Modulate ER Lipid Composition and Metabolism in Breast Cancer Cells

Department of Pharmacological and Biomolecular Sciences, Università degli studi di Milano, 20122 Milano, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2021, 10(1), 175;
Received: 15 November 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2021 / Accepted: 14 January 2021 / Published: 16 January 2021
(1) Background: Lipid metabolism is a fundamental hallmark of all tumors, especially of breast cancer. Few studies describe the different lipid metabolisms and sensitivities to the microenvironment of breast cancer cell subtypes that influence the proliferation, aggressiveness, and success of therapy. This study describes the impact of lipid microenvironment on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane and metabolic activity in two breast cancer cell lines with Luminal A and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) features. (2) Methods: We investigated the peculiar lipid phenotype of a TNBC cell line, MDA-MB-231, and a Luminal A cell line, MCF7, and their different sensitivity to exogenous fatty acids (i.e., palmitic acid (PA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)). Moreover, we verified the impact of exogenous fatty acids on ER lipid composition. (3) Results: The data obtained demonstrate that MDA-MB-231 cells are more sensitive to the lipid microenvironment and that both PA and DHA are able to remodel their ER membranes with consequences on resident enzyme activity. On the contrary, MCF7 cells are less sensitive to PA, whereas they incorporate DHA, although less efficiently than MDA-MB-231 cells. (4) Conclusions: This study sustains the importance of lipid metabolism as an innovative hallmark to discriminate breast cancer subclasses and to develop personalized and innovative pharmacological strategies. The different sensitivities to the lipid environment shown by MCF7 and MDA-MB-231 cells might be related to cell malignancy and chemoresistance onset. In the future, this new approach could lead to a substantial decrease both in deleterious side effects for the patients and in the cost of entire therapeutic treatments coupled with increased therapy efficiency. View Full-Text
Keywords: lipid metabolism; cancer; ER; fatty acids lipid metabolism; cancer; ER; fatty acids
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MDPI and ACS Style

Rizzo, A.M.; Colombo, I.; Montorfano, G.; Zava, S.; Corsetto, P.A. Exogenous Fatty Acids Modulate ER Lipid Composition and Metabolism in Breast Cancer Cells. Cells 2021, 10, 175.

AMA Style

Rizzo AM, Colombo I, Montorfano G, Zava S, Corsetto PA. Exogenous Fatty Acids Modulate ER Lipid Composition and Metabolism in Breast Cancer Cells. Cells. 2021; 10(1):175.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Rizzo, Angela M.; Colombo, Irma; Montorfano, Gigliola; Zava, Stefania; Corsetto, Paola A. 2021. "Exogenous Fatty Acids Modulate ER Lipid Composition and Metabolism in Breast Cancer Cells" Cells 10, no. 1: 175.

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