literature infographic april 2019 fat cells tumour
fat tissue can help cancer cells proliferate metastasize

Infographic: How Fat Cells Influence Tumor Growth

Mice that lack p62 in their fat cells grow more tumors than animals that have a functioning version of the protein.

Catherine Offord
Catherine Offord

Catherine is a science journalist based in Barcelona.

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To investigate how fat cells communicate with tumors, researchers knocked out the protein p62 in adipose tissue of a mouse model of prostate cancer (1). The lack of p62 inhibited the activity of the metabolism-regulating mTORC1 complex (2) and reduced the metabolism of fats in adipose tissue (3), leaving tumor cells with more nutrients at their disposal. p62 deficiency also triggered the secretion of osteopontin (OPN), (4) a protein that promotes tumor proliferation and invasion (5).

© Ikumi Kayama, Studio Kayama

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The Scientist April 2019 Issue

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