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Palmitic acid is an intracellular signaling molecule involved in disease development

  • Sarwat Fatima
  • Xianjing Hu
  • Rui-Hong Gong
  • Chunhua Huang
  • Minting Chen
  • Hoi Leong Xavier Wong
  • Zhaoxiang BianEmail author
  • Hiu Yee KwanEmail author
Review

Abstract

Emerging evidence shows that palmitic acid (PA), a common fatty acid in the human diet, serves as a signaling molecule regulating the progression and development of many diseases at the molecular level. In this review, we focus on its regulatory roles in the development of five pathological conditions, namely, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular diseases, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and inflammation. We summarize the clinical and epidemiological studies; and also the mechanistic studies which have identified the molecular targets for PA in these pathological conditions. Activation or inactivation of these molecular targets by PA controls disease development. Therefore, identifying the specific targets and signaling pathways that are regulated by PA can give us a better understanding of how these diseases develop for the design of effective targeted therapeutics.

Keywords

Palmitic acid Metabolic syndrome Cardiovascular diseases Cancer Neurodegenerative diseases Inflammation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank for Dr Martha for her professional editing of the manuscript.

Author contributions

Conception and design: HYK and ZXB. Acquisition of information: SF, HYK, XJH, RHG, CHH, MTC, and HLXW. Writing and review of the manuscript: SF, HYK, and ZXB. All authors have read and approved the manuscript.

Funding

This work was partially supported by the Research Grant Council of HKSAR HKBU-22103017-ECS, Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province #2018A0303130122, and the Hong Kong Baptist University Grant FRG2/16-17/010 and FRG2/17-18/002.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

No potential conflicts of interest were disclosed.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarwat Fatima
    • 1
  • Xianjing Hu
    • 1
  • Rui-Hong Gong
    • 1
  • Chunhua Huang
    • 1
  • Minting Chen
    • 1
  • Hoi Leong Xavier Wong
    • 1
  • Zhaoxiang Bian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hiu Yee Kwan
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.School of Chinese Medicine, Centre of Clinical Research for Chinese Medicine, and Centre for Cancer and Inflammation ResearchHong Kong Baptist UniversityHong KongChina

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