Journal of cellular biochemistry

Linoleic acid induces an increased response to insulin in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.

PMID 29363790


Epidemiological studies and animal models suggest a link between high levels of dietary fat intake and an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Hyperinsulinemia is a feature of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome that is associated with an increased breast cancer risk. Insulin is a hormone involved in metabolic regulation of carbohydrate. However, it is also a growth factor that mediates proliferation and migration. Linoleic acid (LA) is a fatty acid that induces migration and invasion in breast cancer cells. In the present study, we demonstrate, for the first time, that treatment with LA increases IR and IGF1R expression through a Free Fatty Acid Receptor 4 (FFAR4)-, lipooxygenases (LOXs)-, and SRC-dependent pathway in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, and similarly induces an increase of IR expression in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. In addition, insulin induces tyrosine phosphorylation of IR/IGF1R and migration in MDA-MB-231 cells pretreated with LA, whereas it augments the increase in migration in MCF-7 cells pretreated with LA. Pretreatment of MDA-MB-231 cells with LA induces invasion, proliferation, and increase the MMP-9 secretion induced by insulin. In summary, our findings demonstrate that treatment with LA induces a higher response to insulin in breast cancer cells.