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CYP4F11 metabolism in omega-3 fatty acid metabolism and inflammation in cancer

Summary of Project:

Cytocrome P450s (CYP) are the major enzymes involved in drug metabolism and bioactivation, as well as the hydroxylation of several long chain fatty acids. The fatty acid eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) improves the response of patients to chemotherapy, and may also reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer, including multiple myeloma. Diets high in (n-3) PUFA decrease colon cancer development and suppress colon tumour growth, but the molecular mechanism through which these compounds act is largely unknown.

Treatment of cancer cells with EPA has also been shown to modulate integrin expression and thus the invasiveness of tumours.
Inflammation has recently been recognised as one of the emerging hallmarks of cancer, and EPA has been shown to play a role in this process.

There are contradictory publications regarding the role of CYP4F11 in fatty acid metabolism (EPA, palmitic, arachidonic and lauric acid). We have found that CYP4F11 hydroxylates palmitic acid but not 16-hydroxypalmitate. The physiological relevance of CYP4F11, nor its’ role in EPA metabolism and inflammation, is not known.

Aims of Project

  1. Involvement of CYP4F11 in cell morphology, tumour proliferation, survival, clonogenicity and motility through the development of isogenic tumour cell lines (Colon SW620 - negative, Breast MDA-MB-231 - low CYP4F11, Lung H460 - low).
  2. Role of CYP4F11 in fatty acid metabolism (EPA, docosahexanoic acid, palmitic acid, etc)
  3. Evaluation of proliferation, cell cycle transit, clonogenicity (soft-agar), motility (wound closing), etc. in the absence and presence of:
    1. fatty acids metabolised by CYP4F11
    2. standard and in-house CYP targeted chemotherapeutics.

Entry requirements:

At least 2.i Honours degree or equivalent.


Title and name:
Professor Laurence Patterson
Professor of Drug Discovery
Email address:
Telephone number :
Work+44 (0) 1274 233225
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Title and name:
Dr Mark Sutherland
Senior Experimental Officer
Email address:
Telephone number :
Work+44 (0) 1274 235894
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