Cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins promote the development of cancers related to the endocrine system

Researchers from CIBERBBN, CIBERDEM, Sant Pau Research Institute- IIB Sant Pau review the role of cholesterol-carrying lipoproteins (LDL and HDL) as important factors in the development of tumours of endocrine origin.

The researchers at the Sant Pau Research Institute- IIB Sant Pau, attached to CIBER, and led by Eugenia Mato of the Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition research group; Francisco Blanco Vaca, director of the Biochemistry Service at the Hospital de Sant Pau and coordinator of the Metabolic Basis of Cardiovascular Risk research group, and Juan Carlos Escolà-Gil, from the same research group, have carried out an extensive review of the role of the main transporters of cholesterol in the body, low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL), and their impact on intracellular cholesterol homeostasis and the development of endocrine cancers, especially those of the breast, prostate, pancreas and thyroid.

Pre-clinical studies show the fundamental role of the LDL receptor as a modulator of tumourigenic pathways in endocrine-related tumour cells, mainly by increasing the uptake of circulating LDL-C and modulating tumourigenic pathways. In addition, uptake of HDL by the Bi-Remover receptor (SR-BI) can increase cell proliferation in breast, prostate and ovarian cancer, but these effects can be counteracted by the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of HDL. The results of these studies along with those of other researchers also show that cholesterol can be converted into 27-hydroxycholesterol (HC), which promotes tumourigenic processes in breast and thyroid cancer epithelial.

The researchers note that statins have been widely tested in large clinical trials to prevent cancer growth and metastasis, in part because of their ability to reduce cholesterol synthesis. Some trials have shown that statins can reduce the incidence of breast, prostate, pancreatic and ovarian cancer.

The work, published in Seminars in Cancer Biology, is led by researchers from the CIBER Network on Bioengineering, Biomaterials and Nanomedicine (CIBERBBN), CIBER on Diabetes and Associated Metabolic Diseases (CIBERDEM), the Research Institute and Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau.

Reference article: Giovanna Revilla, Lídia Cedó, Mireia Tondo, Antonio Moral, José Ignacio Pérez, Rosa Corcoy, Enrique Lerma, Victòria Fuste, Srivinasa T. Reddy, Francisco Blanc-Vaca, Eugènia Mato, Joan Carles Escolà-Gil, LDL, HDL and endocrine- related cancer: From pathogenic mechanisms to therapies, Seminars in Cancer Biology, 2020, ISSN 1044-579X,

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