Scope of review Substantial epidemiological and clinical studies have established strong association of obesity with a number of human cancers. However, we need more experimental verification to determine the exact role of this metabolic alteration in the context of tumor development. A clear understanding of molecules, pathways and the mechanisms involved in lipid metabolism and cell death/proliferation will have important implications in pathogenesis, and prevention of these diseases.
Background Lipid metabolism dysfunction leading to excess fat deposits (obesity) may cause tumor (cancer) development. Both obesity and cancer are the epicenter of important medical issues. Lipid metabolism and cell death/proliferation are controlled by biochemical and molecular pathways involving many proteins, and organelles; alteration in these pathways leads to fat accumulation or tumor growth. Mammalian Krüppel-like factors, KLFs play key roles in both lipid metabolism and tumor development.
Major conclusion The regulatory role of KLFs, in both cell death/proliferation and lipid metabolism suggests a common regulation of both processes. This provides an excellent model for delivering a precise understanding of the mechanisms linking altered expression of KLFs to obesity and tumor development.
General significance Currently, mouse and rats are the models of choice for investigating disease mechanisms and pharmacological therapies but a genetic model is needed for a thorough examination of KLF function in vivo during the development of an organism. The worm Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal model to study the connectivity between lipid metabolism and cell death/proliferation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Krüppel-like factor
- Lipid metabolism
- Tumor development