Glass fatty acid is a fatty acid produced or secreted by fatty decomposition in fat cells, which means that the higher the degree of obesity, the better the transfer of cancer cells.
Professor Jeon Yang-sook of Seoul National University with a research team at Yokohama National University stated in the recent study published on December 29, 2020 in Biomaterials, an international journal in the field of biological materials, that fatty acids in fat cells stimulate adjacent cancer cells and cause cancer metastasis.
The research team previously reported that glass fatty acids can activate the HIF-1α protein of cancer cells to induce malignantization of tumors (Communications Biology, 2020). The study found out what sources inject fatty acids into cancer cells.
Silicon materials with high oxygen transmittance were used to allow fat cells and cancer cells to grow in direct contact with each other to see their interrelationship with cancer cells. The research team made a three-dimensional culture chip with this silicon material that allows cells to grow together with three-dimensional circular structures. It then cultivated cancer cells and fat cells together at an appropriate rate to create a cancer microenvironment similar to the actual biological environment. This revealed that fatty acids secreted by fat cells are a stimulating source of HIF-1ﬁ in adjacent cancer cells.
The research team compared the denseness of the cell clusters that grow into ellipsoids by co-cultivating several combinations of cells on a 1,700-square chip, and found that the density of cancer cells and fat cells decreased by 30 percent. If fatty acids were removed, there was no significant change in the transition of cancer cells. The team also injected fatty acids into the abdominal cavity of mice with fluorescent-marked cancer cells and tracked the movement of cancer cells, and found that the cancer cells spread from the colon to the liver and head.
The study was conducted with support from the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Research Foundation.