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PPAR Research
Volume 2008, Article ID 102737, 15 pages
Review Article

The Role of PPARs in Cancer

1Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, 1-6 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
2The Center for Advanced Medical Engineering and Informatics, Osaka University, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
3Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka University, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan

Received 1 April 2008; Accepted 20 May 2008

Academic Editor: Dipak Panigrahy

Copyright © 2008 Keisuke Tachibana et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated transcription factors that belong to the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. PPAR 𝛼 is mainly expressed in the liver, where it activates fatty acid catabolism. PPAR 𝛼 activators have been used to treat dyslipidemia, causing a reduction in plasma triglyceride and elevation of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. PPAR 𝛿 is expressed ubiquitously and is implicated in fatty acid oxidation and keratinocyte differentiation. PPAR 𝛿 activators have been proposed for the treatment of metabolic disease. PPAR 𝛾 2 is expressed exclusively in adipose tissue and plays a pivotal role in adipocyte differentiation. PPAR 𝛾 is involved in glucose metabolism through the improvement of insulin sensitivity and represents a potential therapeutic target of type 2 diabetes. Thus PPARs are molecular targets for the development of drugs treating metabolic syndrome. However, PPARs also play a role in the regulation of cancer cell growth. Here, we review the function of PPARs in tumor growth.