AbstractCatenins (alpha, beta, and gamma) are a group of proteins linking E-cadherin with the cytoskeleton. Reduced expression of alpha catenin has been shown in some cancer lines and tissues and is related to the invasive nature of tumour cells. This study examined the effects of n-6 PUFAs on the expression of catenins in a range of human cancer cells by Western blotting. Although most of the cell lines expressed similar levels of beta and gamma catenins, a number of cell lines expressed low levels of alpha catenin. Treatment of cells with gamma linolenic acid (GLA) increased alpha catenin expression in most cell lines, while beta catenin levels were reduced, and gamma catenin expression was unchanged. Linoleic acid and arachidonic acid had not significant effects. We conclude that in human cancer cell lines, the expression of alpha and beta catenins can be regulated by gamma linolenic acid.
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