Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.519, No.1, 100-105, 2019
Clinical and biochemical relevance of monounsaturated fatty acid metabolism targeting strategy for cancer stem cell elimination in colon cancer
Lipid metabolism is associated with colon cancer prognosis and incidence. Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), which converts fully saturated fatty acids (SFAs) to monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), has been suggested as a vulnerable target for selective elimination of cancer stem cells (CSCs). However, the clinical significance and physiological role of SCD1 in CSCs has not been well demonstrated. Here, we showed the clinical and biochemical relevance of blocking SCD1 to target CSCs by analyzing human colon cancer data from TCGA and through lipidomic profiling of CSCs with or without SCD1 inhibition using mass spectrometry. Positive associations between SCD1 expression and colorectal cancer patient clinical status and the expression of CSC-related genes (WNT and NOTCH signaling) were found based on TCGA data analysis. Lipidomic profiling of CSCs and bulk cancer cells (BCCs) using mass spectrometry revealed that colon CSCs contained a distinctive lipid profile, with higher free MUFA and lower free SFA levels than in BCCs, suggesting that enhanced SCD1 activity generates MUFAs that may support WNT signaling in CSCs. In addition, all identified phosphatidyl-ethanolamine-containing MUFAs were found at higher levels in CSCs. Interestingly, we observed lower phosphatidyl-serine (18:1/18:0), phosphatidyl-choline (PC; p-18:0/18:1)), and sphingomyelin (SM; d18:1/20:0 or d16:1/22:0) levels in CSCs than in BCCs. Of those, SCD1 inhibition, which efficiently diminished free MUFA levels, increased those specific PC and SM and MUFAs in CSCs promptly. These results suggest that these specific lipid composition is critical for CSC stem cell maintenance. In addition, not only free MUFAs, which are known to be required for WNT signaling, but also other phospholipids, such as SM, which are important for lipid raft formation, may mediate other cell signaling pathways that support CSC maintenance. Comparison of the lipidomic profiles of colon cancer cells with those of previously reported for glioma cells further demonstrated the tissue specific characteristics of lipid metabolism in CSCs. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.