Dominant uptake of fatty acid over glucose by prostate cells: A potential new diagnostic and therapeutic approach

Yiyan Liu, Lionel S. Zuckier, Nasrin V. Ghesani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


Background: Prostate cancer is characterized by a low rate of glycolysis and glucose uptake. We hypothesize that fatty acid is dominant over glucose in uptake by prostate cells. Materials and Methods: One benign (RWPE1) and two malignant (LNCaP and PC3) prostate cell lines were assayed for their in vitro uptake of radiolabeled glucose analogs 3H-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose and 18F-fluoro-2-deoxyglucose, and the long-chain fatty acid 3H-palmitic acid. Fractional uptake was standardized to viable cell numbers. Results: Uptake of palmitate in all 3 prostate cell lines was significantly higher than that of glucose at all incubation times (p<0.01). But in malignant cell lines, neither glucose nor palmitate uptake was quantitatively higher than that in the benign cell line. The uptake of fatty acid by prostate cells is a dynamic, active process mediated by the membrane receptors. Conclusion: Prostate cells are characterized by a dominant uptake of fatty acid over glucose, suggesting that future development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches in prostatic cancer should focus on fatty acid substrate. Fatty acid imaging may be useful in detection of recurrence and metastasis, but not in differentiating malignant from benign prostate tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioenergetic metabolism
  • Fatty acid
  • Glycolysis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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