Salvador Aznar Benitah, ICREA Research Professor, Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Barcelona (IRB-Barcelona), Barcelona Institute for Science and Technology (BIST).
Title: Epigenetic influence of our (fatty) diet on metastatic-initiating cells
We have recently identified the cells uniquely responsible for the formation of metastasis in different human tumors. These cells have intriguing characteristics: i) they express the fatty acid translocase CD36, and are characterized by a unique lipid metabolic signature; ii) they are exquisitely sensitive to the levels of fat in circulation, and consequently they relate the predisposition of metastasis to the content of dietary fat; and iii) they are highly sensitive to CD36 inhibition, which abolishes their metastatic potential in preclinical models. I will present new data on the characterization of metastatic-initiating cells placing special emphasis on how dietary lipids exert a striking long-term effect over them, putting forward a novel concept of ¨metastatic epigenetic memory¨ elicited by our diet. I will also discuss the possible mechanisms establishing this memory, and how fatty acids promote metastasis by modulating the systemic metabolism, as well as how this information can be used for developing novel anti-metastatic therapies.