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The emerging role of fatty acid binding protein 5 (FABP5) in cancers

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • William George Warren
  • Myles Osborn
  • Andy Yates
  • Karen Wright
  • Saoirse E O'Sullivan
Article number103628
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/07/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Drug Discovery Today
Issue number7
Number of pages15
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/05/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Fatty acid binding protein 5 (FABP5, or epidermal FABP) is an intracellular chaperone of fatty acid molecules that regulates lipid metabolism and cell growth. In patient-derived tumours, FABP5 expression is increased up to tenfold, often co-expressed with other cancer-related proteins. High tumoral FABP5 expression is associated with poor prognosis. FABP5 activates transcription factors (TFs) leading to increased expression of proteins involved in tumorigenesis. Genetic and pharmacological preclinical studies show that inhibiting FABP5 reduces protumoral markers, whereas elevation of FABP5 promotes tumour growth and spread. Thus, FABP5 might be a valid target for novel therapeutics. The evidence base is currently strongest for liver, prostate, breast, and brain cancers, and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which could represent relevant patient populations for any drug discovery programme.