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PPAR Research
Volume 2008, Article ID 930705, 9 pages
Review Article

Anticancer Properties of PPAR -Effects on Cellular Metabolism and Inflammation

1Department of Food Biotechnology, Faculty of Food Technology, Agricultural University of Krakow, ul. Balicka 122, 31149 Krakow, Poland
2Department of Neuroscience, Center for Neurovirology, School of Medicine, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA

Received 11 January 2008; Accepted 14 April 2008

Academic Editor: Dipak Panigrahy

Copyright © 2008 Maja Grabacka and Krzysztof Reiss. 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) have lately attracted much attention as therapeutic targets. Previously, PPAR ligands were associated with the treatment of diabetes, hyperlipidemia and cardiovascular diseases, as they modulate the expression of genes regulating glucose and lipid metabolism. Recently, PPAR ligands have been also considered as potential anticancer agents, with relatively low systemic toxicity. The emerging evidence for antiproliferative, proapoptotic, antiinflammatory and potential antimetastatic properties of PPAR ligands prompted us to discuss possible roles of PPAR in tumor suppression. PPAR activation can target cancer cells energy balance by blocking fatty acid synthesis and by promoting fatty acid -oxidation. In the state of limited nutrient availability, frequently presents in the tumor microenvironment, PPAR cooperates with AMP-dependent protein kinase in: (i) repressing oncogenic Akt activity, (ii) inhibiting cell proliferation, and (iii) forcing glycolysis-dependent cancer cells into “metabolic catastrophe.” Other potential anticancer effects of PPAR include suppression of inflammation, and upregulation of uncoupling proteins (UCPs), which attenuates mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and cell proliferation. In conclusion, there are strong premises that the low-toxic and well-tolerated PPAR ligands should be considered as new therapeutic agents to fight disseminating cancer, which represents the major challenge for modern medicine and basic research.