Research Papers:

FAAH inhibition ameliorates breast cancer in a murine model

Mallika Tripathy, Amy Bui, Jared Henderson, Jeffrey Sun, Christian Rutan Woods, Soumya Somani, Thao Doan, Anto Sam Crosslee Louis Sam Titus and Chandra Mohan _

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Oncotarget. 2023; 14:910-918. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.28534

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Mallika Tripathy1, Amy Bui1, Jared Henderson1, Jeffrey Sun1, Christian Rutan Woods1, Soumya Somani1, Thao Doan1, Anto Sam Crosslee Louis Sam Titus1 and Chandra Mohan1

1 Department Biomedical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA

Correspondence to:

Chandra Mohan, email: [email protected]

Keywords: FAAH; breast cancer; cancer therapy; apoptosis

Received: May 23, 2023     Accepted: September 21, 2023     Published: October 31, 2023

Copyright: © 2023 Tripathy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Breast cancer is the leading cancer among females worldwide. Disease outcome depends on the hormonal status of the cancer and whether or not it is metastatic, but there is a need for more efficacious therapeutic strategies where first line treatment fails. In this study, Fatty Acid Amide Hydrolase (FAAH) inhibition and endocannabinoids were examined as therapeutic alternatives. FAAH is an integral membrane enzyme that hydrolyzes endocannabinoids, rendering them inactive, and FAAH inhibition is predicted to increase cancer cell death. To test this, breast cancer cells were probed for FAAH expression using Western blot analysis, treated with FAAH inhibitors, exogenous endocannabinoids, and combinations of the two treatments, and assessed for viability. High levels of FAAH were observed in different breast cancer cell lines. FAAH inhibition was more effective than exogenous endocannabinoid treatment, and the combination of FAAH inhibitors and endocannabinoids was the most effective in inducing apoptosis of breast cancer cells in vitro. In addition, in vivo FAAH inhibition reduced breast cancer growth in immunodeficient mice. FAAH inhibition is a promising approach, and tremendous progress has been made in the field to validate this mechanism as an alternative to chemotherapy. Further research exploring the therapeutic potential and impact of FAAH expression on cancer cells is warranted.

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