New research has identified a novel mode of communication between adipocytes and cancer cells that regulates tumour aggressiveness. Adipocyte exosomes (ad-exos) purified from conditioned medium of 3T3-F442A mature adipocytes increased melanoma cell migration and invasion in vitro. Analysis of the protein cargo of these ad-exos by mass spectrometry revealed the majority of proteins to be involved in lipid metabolism, specifically fatty acid oxidation (FAO). Crucially, inhibition of this pathway blocked the pro-migratory effect of ad-exos on melanoma cells, highlighting the importance of FAO in tumour progression. Shedding of ad-exos and their effect on FAO-dependent melanoma cell migration were also greater in obese mice and humans than in lean controls. The findings could explain why patients with obesity and melanoma have a poor prognosis and lead to new cancer treatments involving FAO inhibitors.
Adipocyte exosomes drive melanoma progression
Lazar I, Clement E, Dauvillier S, Milhas D, Ducoux-Petit M, Le Gonidec S, Moro C, Soldan V, Dalle S, Balor S, Golzio M, Burlet-Schiltz O, Valet P, Muller C, Nieto L. (2016) Adipocyte exosomes promote melanoma aggressiveness through fatty acid oxidation: a novel mechanism linking obesity and cancer. Cancer Res [Epub ahead of print]. [abstract]