Study of the metabolism of fatty acids in cell proliferation and evaluation of their potential use as a therapeutic target in cancer

Team of work

Scaglia, Natalia 
Principal Investigator
Córsico, Betina
García, Karina A. 
Research Fellow
Moscoso, Verónica
Dissertation Student

Collaborators from other institutions


Loda, Massimo 
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. 
The Broad Institute, Cambridge, MA, USA. Division of Cancer Studies, King’s College London, London, UK. 

Zadra, Giorgia 
Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School. Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA. 

Line overview

Cancer cells engage in an increased de novo fatty acid synthesis as part of their anabolic reprogramming to support the active proliferation. Previous work from our and other groups has shown that fatty acid synthesis is essential for neoplastic cell proliferation and a putative therapeutic target for cancer treatment. It is not known, however, why cancer cells rely on this anabolic route even in the presence of exogenous fatty acids. Additional evidence on the importance of de novo fatty acid synthesis for the division of normal mammalian cells and yeast suggests that it’s a general requirement for cellular proliferation. Normal cells, however, are less sensitive to the deleterious effect of the inhibition of this pathway than neoplastic cells, providing a therapeutic window for cancer treatment.

Our main goal is to contribute to the understanding of the function and regulation of fatty acid and membrane phospholipid metabolism in cellular proliferation, and to apply this knowledge to test new therapeutic targets for cancer treatment and diagnosis. Our current studies focus on membrane lipid metabolism in concert with cell cycle progression as well as the channeling of fatty acids towards different metabolic fates.



  • FABP1 knockdown in human enterocytes impairs proliferation and alters lipid metabolism. Rodriguez Sawicki, L; Bottasso Arias, N. M; Scaglia, N; Falomir Lockhart, L; Franchini, G. R; Storch, J; Córsico, B.
    2017. Biochimica et biophysica acta-molecular and cell biology of lipids. ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV. vol. 1862, n° 12, p. 1587-1594.
    ISSN 1388-1981

  • Analysis of triglyceride synthesis unveils a green algal soluble diacylglycerol acyltransferase and provides clues to potential enzymatic components of the chloroplast pathway.
    Bagnato, C; Prados, M. B; Franchini, G. R; Scaglia, N; Miranda, S. E; Beligni, M. V.
    2017. Bmc genomics: BIOMED CENTRAL LTD. vol. 18, n° 1, ISSN 1471-2164

  • Echinococcus granulosus Antigen B binds to monocytes and macrophages modulating cellresponse to inflammation. Parasites and vectors.
    Silva, V; Folle, A; Ramos. A; Kitano, E; Iwai, L; Corraliza, I; Córsico, B; Ferreira, A.
    2016. Londres: BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, vol. 9, n° 69, p. 1350-1357. ISSN 1756-3305

  • A novel direct activator of AMPK inhibits prostate cancer growth by blocking lipogenesis.
    Zadra, G; Photopoulos, C; Tyekucheva, S; Heidari, P; Weng, Q. P; Fedele, G; Liu, H; Scaglia, N; Priolo, C; Sicinska, E; Mahmood, U; Signoretti, S; Birnberg, N; Loda, M. 
    2014. Embo Molecular Medicine. , Londres: WILEY-BLACKWELL PUBLISHING, INC,. vol. 6, p. 519-538. ISSN 1757-4676

  • AKT1 and MYC Induce Distinctive Metabolic Fingerprints in Human Prostate Cancer.
    Priolo, C; Pyne, S; Rose, J; Regan, E. R; Zadra, G; Photopoulos, C; Cacciatore, S; Schulz, D; Scaglia, N; Mcdunn, J; De Marzo, A. M; Loda, M. 
    2014. Cancer Research. , Philadelphia: AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH,. vol. 74, n° 24, p. 7198-7204. ISSN 0008-5472

  • De novo fatty acid synthesis at the mitotic exit is required to complete cellular division.
    Scaglia, N; Tyekucheva, S; Zadra, G; Photopoulos, C; Loda, M.
    2014. Cell Cycle. , Austin, Texas: LANDES BIOSCIENCE,. vol. 13, p. 859-868. ISSN 1538-4101

  • Inhibition of Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase 1 inactivates Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase and impairs proliferation in cancer cells: role of AMPK.
    Scaglia, N; Chisholm, J. W; Igal, R. A. 
    2009. PLoS One. 4(8):e6812
  • Regulation of fatty acid synthesis and desaturation in senescence of human fibroblasts.
    Maeda, M; Scaglia, N; Igal, R. A. 
    2009. Life Sci. 84:119-124
  • Inhibition of Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase 1 expression in human lung adenocarcinoma cells impairs tumorigenesis.
    Scaglia, N., Igal, R. A. 
    2008. Int J Oncol. 33(4):839-50
  • Stearoyl-CoA desaturase is involved in the control of proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, and survival in human transformed cells. 
    Scaglia, N; Igal, R. A. 
    2005. J Biol Chem. 280(27):25339-49
  • High stearoyl-CoA desaturase protein and activity levels in simian virus 40 transformed-human lung fibroblasts.
    Scaglia, N; Caviglia, J. M; Igal, R. A. 
    2005.Biochim Biophys Acta, 1687(1-3):141-51

Book - Book chapters

  • Análisis estructural y funcional de macromoléculas. 
    Córsico, B; Falomir-Lockhart, L. J; Franchini, G. R; Scaglia, N. 
    2013. La Plata. Libro de Catedra. Edulp, p. 422. ISBN 978-950-34-1057-8
  • Microscopía Óptica.
    Falomir Lockhart, L. J; Fuentes, F; Córsico, B; Franchini, G. R; Scaglia, N. 
    2013. Capítulo 13. Microscopía Óptica. La Plata: EDULP, 2013. p. 365-416. ISBN 978-950-34-1057-8
  • Fluorescencia. 
    De Gerónimo, E; Falomir Lockhart, L. J; Córsico, B; Franchini, Gr; Scaglia, N.
    2013. Capítulo 2. Fluorescencia. La Plata: EDULP, 2013. p. 39-77. ISBN 978-950-34-1057-8
  • Interaccion Proteina Proteina. 
    Rodriguez Sawicki, L; Bottasso, N; Córsico, B; Franchini, G; Falomir Lockhart, L. J; Scaglia, N. 
    2013. La Plata: EDULP, 2013. p. 299-342

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