Arachidonic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid, induces cytoplasmic phospholipase A2 in prostate carcinoma cells.

PMID 15878913


For the past 60 years, dietary intake of essential fatty acids has increased. Moreover, the omega-6 fatty acids have recently been found to play an important role in regulation of gene expression. Proliferation of human prostate cells was significantly increased 48 h after arachidonic acid (AA) addition. We have analyzed initial uptake using nile red fluorescence and we found that the albumin conjugated AA is endocytosed into the cells followed by the induction of RNA within minutes, protein and PGE2 synthesis within hours. Here we describe that AA induces expression of cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) in a dose-dependent manner and that this upregulation is dependent upon downstream synthesis of PGE2. The upregulation of cox-2 and cPLA2 was inhibited by flurbiprofen, a cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitor, making this a second feed-forward enzyme in the eicosanoid pathway. Cox-2 specific inhibitors are known to inhibit colon and prostate cancer growth in humans; however, recent findings show that some of these have cardiovascular complications. Since cPLA2 is upstream in the eicosanoid pathway, it may be a good alternative for a pharmaceutical target for the treatment of cancer.