Research Papers:

SCD1 is associated with tumor promotion, late stage and poor survival in lung adenocarcinoma

Jun Huang, Xing-Xing Fan, Jiaxi He, Hui Pan, Run-Ze Li, Liyan Huang, Zebo Jiang, Xiao-Jun Yao, Liang Liu, Elaine Lai-Han Leung and Jian-Xing He _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:39970-39979. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9461

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Jun Huang1,3,*, Xing-Xing Fan2,*, Jiaxi He1,*, Hui Pan1, Run-Ze Li2, Liyan Huang1, Zebo Jiang2, Xiao-Jun Yao2, Liang Liu2, Elaine Lai-Han Leung2, Jian-Xing He1,3

1State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease, The 1st Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, China

2State Key Laboratory of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine/Macau Institute for Applied Research in Medicine and Health, Macau University of Science and Technology, Macau (SAR), China

3Guangdong Cardiovascular Institute, Guangdong General Hospital, Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences, Guangzhou, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jian-Xing He, email: [email protected]

Elaine Lai-Han Leung, email: [email protected]

Keywords: lung adenocarcinoma, SCD1, EGFR, biomarker, lipid metabolism

Received: November 12, 2015     Accepted: April 23, 2016     Published: May 19, 2016


The discovery of Warburg effect opens a new era in anti-cancer therapy. Aerobic glycolysis is regarded as a hallmark of cancer cells and increasing literatures indicates that metabolic changes are critical for the maintenance and progression of cancer cells. Besides aerobic glycolysis, increased fatty acid synthesis is also required for the rapid growth of cancer cells, and is considered as one of the most typical metabolic symbols of cancer either. Thus, targeting fatty acid metabolism may provide a potential avenue for the diagnosis and therapeutic treatment of cancer. In this study, we have identified Sterol-CoA desaturase-1 (SCD1) which is the rate-limiting enzyme of unsaturated fatty acid synthesis, universally and highly expressed in lung adenocarcinoma and was required for the cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Both in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrated that high expression of SCD1 remarkably enhanced the ability of tumor formation and invasion, while knockdown of SCD1 significantly repressed tumorigenesis and induced cell apoptosis. Clinical association study suggested that high expression of SCD1 is more frequently observed in late stage patients and presents poor prognosis. Taken together, our results suggested that SCD1 is a potentially novel biomarker of lung adenocarcinoma, and targeting SCD1 may represent a new anti-cancer strategy.

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