Mechanism of action of a tumour derived lipid mobilising factor

  • Paul M. Sanders

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


Cancer cachexia comprises unintentional and debilitating weight loss associated with certain tumour types.
Fat loss in cachexia is mediated by a 43kDa Lipid Mobilising Factor (LMF) sharing homology with endogenous Zinc-α2-Glycoprotein (ZAG). LMF and ZAG induced significant lipolysis in isolated epidydimal adipose tissue. This is attenuated by co-incubation with 10μM of antagonist SR59230A and partially attenuated by 25μM PD098059 (indicating β3-AR and MAPK involvement respectively). LMF/ZAG induced in vitro lipid depletion in differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes that seen to comprise a significant increase in lipolysis (p<0.01), with only a modest decrease in lipid synthesis (p=0.09).
ZAG significantly increased in vitro protein synthesis (p<0.01) in C2C12 myotubes (without an effect on protein degradation). This increase was activated at transcription and attenuated by co-incubation with 10μM SR59230A. Proteolytic digestion of ZAG and LMF followed by sephadex G50 chromatography yielded active fragments of 6-15kDa, indication the entire molecule was not required for bioactivity.
Cachexigenic MAC16 cells demonstrated significant in vitro ZAG expression over non-cachexigenic MAC13 cells (p<0.001). WAT and BAT excised from MAC16 mice of varying weight loss demonstrated increased ZAG expression compared to controls. Dosing of NMRI mice with s/c ZAG failed to reproduce this up-regulation, thus another cachectic factor is responsible.
0.58nM LMF conferred significant protection against hydrogen peroxide, paraquat and bleomycin-induced oxidative stress in the non-cachexigenic MAC13 cell line. This protection was attenuated by 10μM SR59230A indicating a β3-AR mediated effect. In addition, 0.58nM LMF significantly up regulated UCP2 expression (p<0.001), (a mitochondrial protein implicated in the detoxification of ROS) implying this to be the mechanism by which survival was achieved. In vitro, LMF caused significant up-regulation of UCP1 in BAT and UCP2 and 3 in C2C12 myotubes. This increase in uncoupling protein expression further potentiates the negative energy balance and wasting observed in cachexia.
Date of AwardSept 2003
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMichael J Tisdale (Supervisor)


  • cachexia
  • zinc-alpha2-glycoprotein
  • beta-3-adrenoreceptor
  • reactive oxygen species
  • uncoupling protein

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