Human diet contains a mixture of saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. These are either long, medium or short chain fatty acids. As commonly believed, all fatty acids are not detrimental to human health. In addition to energy reserves, long chain fatty acids are known as acylating agents for many biomolecules such as cholesterol, terpenoids as well as steroid hormones. They are also involved in acylation of polyphenols such as flavonoids making them palatable for better absorption and biological activities. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are known for their numerous beneficial health effects including cancer and inflammation. PUFA, particularly ω3 fatty acids, have attracted attention as anticancer agents and particularly for colorectal cancer. PUFAs exhibit immunomodulatory activities controlling inflammosome and are used as adjuvants together with standard anticancer drugs. A reciprocal interaction of short chain fatty acids with PUFAs has been suggested for their anticancer activities. Thus, in colon cancer cells, sodium butyrate (NaB) interacts with docosahexaenoic acid inducing cell differentiation or catalyze apoptosis. These results encouraged us to investigate NaB, a C4 acid, as an adjuvant to standard proteasome inhibitors. Our results show that NaB sensitizes colon cancer cell lines for treatment with proteasome inhibitors.
Part of the book: Fatty Acids