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PPAR Research
Volume 2008 (2008), Article ID 542694, 9 pages
Review Article

PPAR and Proline Oxidase in Cancer

1Metabolism and Cancer Susceptibility Section, Laboratory of Comparative Carcinogenesis, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD 21702-1201, USA
2Basic Research Program, SAIC-Frederick, National Cancer Institute, Frederick, MD 21702-1201, USA

Received 30 April 2008; Accepted 11 June 2008

Academic Editor: Dipak Panigrahy

Copyright © 2008 James M. Phang 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.


Proline is metabolized by its own specialized enzymes with their own tissue and subcellular localizations and mechanisms of regulation. The central enzyme in this metabolic system is proline oxidase, a flavin adenine dinucleotide-containing enzyme which is tightly bound to mitochondrial inner membranes. The electrons from proline can be used to generate ATP or can directly reduce oxygen to form superoxide. Although proline may be derived from the diet and biosynthesized endogenously, an important source in the microenvironment is from degradation of extracellular matrix by matrix metalloproteinases. Previous studies showed that proline oxidase is a p53-induced gene and its overexpression can initiate proline-dependent apoptosis by both intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. Another important factor regulating proline oxidase is peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR ). Importantly, in several cancer cells, proline oxidase may be an important mediator of the PPAR -stimulated generation of ROS and induction of apoptosis. Knockdown of proline oxidase expression by antisense RNA markedly decreased these PPAR -stimulated effects. These findings suggest an important role in the proposed antitumor effects of PPAR . Moreover, it is possible that proline oxidase may contribute to the other metabolic effects of PPAR .