Cholesterol is an essential lipid primarily synthesized in the liver through the mevalonate pathway. Besides being a precursor of steroid hormones, bile acid, and vitamin D, it is an essential structural component of cell membranes, is enriched in membrane lipid rafts, and plays a key role in intracellular signal transduction. The lipid homeostasis is finely regulated end appears to be impaired in several types of tumors, including breast cancer. In this review, we will analyse the multifaceted roles of cholesterol and its derivatives in breast cancer progression. As an example of the bivalent role of cholesterol in the cell membrane of cancer cells, on the one hand, it reduces membrane fluidity, which has been associated with a more aggressive tumor phenotype in terms of cell motility and migration, leading to metastasis formation. On the other hand, it makes the membrane less permeable to small water-soluble molecules that would otherwise freely cross, resulting in a loss of chemotherapeutics permeability. Regarding cholesterol derivatives, a lower vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, while steroid hormones, coupled with the overexpression of their receptors, play a crucial role in breast cancer progression. Despite the role of cholesterol and derivatives molecules in breast cancer development is still controversial, the use of cholesterol targeting drugs like statins and zoledronic acid appears as a challenging promising tool for breast cancer treatment.

Cholesterol and Its Derivatives: Multifaceted Players in Breast Cancer Progression

Centonze, Giorgia;Natalini, Dora;Salemme, Vincenzo;Morellato, Alessandro;Arina, Pietro;Riganti, Chiara;Defilippi, Paola
2022-01-01

Abstract

Cholesterol is an essential lipid primarily synthesized in the liver through the mevalonate pathway. Besides being a precursor of steroid hormones, bile acid, and vitamin D, it is an essential structural component of cell membranes, is enriched in membrane lipid rafts, and plays a key role in intracellular signal transduction. The lipid homeostasis is finely regulated end appears to be impaired in several types of tumors, including breast cancer. In this review, we will analyse the multifaceted roles of cholesterol and its derivatives in breast cancer progression. As an example of the bivalent role of cholesterol in the cell membrane of cancer cells, on the one hand, it reduces membrane fluidity, which has been associated with a more aggressive tumor phenotype in terms of cell motility and migration, leading to metastasis formation. On the other hand, it makes the membrane less permeable to small water-soluble molecules that would otherwise freely cross, resulting in a loss of chemotherapeutics permeability. Regarding cholesterol derivatives, a lower vitamin D is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, while steroid hormones, coupled with the overexpression of their receptors, play a crucial role in breast cancer progression. Despite the role of cholesterol and derivatives molecules in breast cancer development is still controversial, the use of cholesterol targeting drugs like statins and zoledronic acid appears as a challenging promising tool for breast cancer treatment.
2022
12
906670
906685
breast cancer; breast cancer therapy; cancer metabolism; cholesterol; cholesterol metabolism; mevalonate (MVA) pathway; statins
Centonze, Giorgia; Natalini, Dora; Piccolantonio, Alessio; Salemme, Vincenzo; Morellato, Alessandro; Arina, Pietro; Riganti, Chiara; Defilippi, Paola
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1885646
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