The Significance of Fatty Acid Synthase From a Marker of Differentiation to an Enzyme Involved in Carcinogenesis

Progestin regulation of some genes (Figure 1) such as the decrease in bcl-2 facilitating apoptosis (26) or the increase in alkaline phosphatase a marker of mammary gland differentiation (1, 2) suggest a favourable effect of. progestins. Others have suggested a higher aggressiveness such as the induction of the EGF receptor and VEGF (27).

We have extensively studied an abundant 250-kDa protein specifically induced by progestin at the gene level, in BC cells, via the PR. This protein was identified by several converging approaches (18, 28, 29) as fatty acid synthase (FAS, EC 2.3.1.85), the cytosolic enzyme which synthesizes C16 fatty acids from acetyl Co A and malonyl CoA (30).

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