Increase in dietary fat intake has been reported to be associated with progression of hormone-dependent cancers. To explore its mechanism, we examined the effects of fatty acids on the growth of androgen-dependent SC-3 cells cloned from mouse mammary cancer (Shionogi carcinoma 115). Their androgen-dependent growth was potentiated by linoleic acid in the defined medium. The effect of linoleic acid on fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-dependent growth was also addressed because androgen had been demonstrated to exert its mitogenic activity on SC-3 cells through an induction of the unique FGF family protein termed as androgen-induced growth factor. Exposure of SC-3 cells to basic FGF or androgen-induced growth factor exhibited only transient growth response. However, simultaneous addition of linoleic acid to the medium sustained the proliferation of FGF-stimulated, but not FGF-unstimulated, cells, although linoleic acid did not exert the significant effect on the process of S-phase entry of basic FGF-stimulated cells. Palmitoleic acid and oleic acid appeared to exert the actions similar to linoleic acid, while stearic acid was without any effect. Neither cyclooxygenase inhibitor nor 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor could block the growth-promoting ability of linoleic acid. Linoleic acid also enhanced their anchorage-independent growth in the presence of basic FGF. These results indicate that these unsaturated fatty acids play a role in sustaining the proliferation of FGF-stimulated SC-3 cells.

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Supported by grants-in-aid from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Tokyo Japan, Enami Memorial Foundation for Cancer Research, and Uehara Biomedical Research Grant.

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