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SCD1 activity promotes cell migration via a PLD-mTOR pathway in the MDA-MB-231 triple-negative breast cancer cell line.

Breast cancer (Tokyo, Japan) (2020-01-30)
Marine Lingrand, Simon Lalonde, Antoine Jutras-Carignan, Karl-F Bergeron, Eric Rassart, Catherine Mounier
ABSTRACT

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Despite high survival rates in Western countries, treatments are less effective in metastatic cases and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) patient survival is the shortest across breast cancer subtypes. High expression levels of stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1) have been reported in breast cancer. The SCD1 enzyme catalyzes the formation of oleic acid (OA), a lipid stimulating the migration of metastatic breast cancer cells. Phospholipase activity is also implicated in breast cancer metastasis, notably phospholipase D (PLD). Kaplan-Meier survival plots generated from gene expression databases were used to analyze the involvement of SCD1 and PLD in several cancer subtypes. SCD1 enzymatic activity was modulated with a pharmaceutical inhibitor or by OA treatment (to mimic SCD1 over-activity) in three breast cancer cell lines: TNBC-derived MDA-MB-231 cells as well as non-TNBC MCF-7 and T47D cells. Cell morphology and migration properties were characterized by various complementary methods. Our survival analyses suggest that SCD1 and PLD2 expression in the primary tumor are both associated to metastasis-related morbid outcomes in breast cancer patients. We show that modulation of SCD1 activity is associated with the modification of TNBC cell migration properties, including changes in speed, direction and cell morphology. Cell migration properties are regulated by SCD1 activity through a PLD-mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway. These effects are not observed in non-TNBC cell lines. Our results establish a key role for the lipid desaturase SCD1 and delineate an OA-PLD-mTOR/p70S6K signaling pathway in TNBC-derived MDA-MB-231 cell migration.