J Cancer Prev.  2021 Mar;26(1):32-40. 10.15430/JCP.2021.26.1.32.

Dysregulated Free Fatty Acid Receptor 2 Exacerbates Colonic Adenoma Formation in ApcMin/+ Mice: Relation to Metabolism and Gut Microbiota Composition

  • 1Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA
  • 2Division of Biostatistics, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA
  • 3Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA
  • 4Department of Pathology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 5Department of Pathology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
  • 6Department of Hematology and Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation, Comprehensive Cancer Center, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, CA, USA


Free fatty acid receptor 2 (FFAR2) has been reported as a tumor suppressor in colon cancer development. The current study investigated the effects of FFAR2 signaling on energy metabolism and gut microbiota profiling in a colorectal cancer mouse model (ApcMin/+). FFAR2 deficiency promoted colonic polyp development and enhanced fatty acid oxidation and bile acid metabolism. Gut microbiome sequencing analysis showed distinct clustering among wild-type, ApcMin/+, and ApcMin/+-Ffar2-/- mice. The relative abundance of Flavobacteriaceae and Verrucomicrobiaceae was significantly increased in the ApcMin/+-Ffar2-/- mice compared to the ApcMin/+ mice. In addition, knocking-down FFAR2 in the human colon cancer cell lines (SW480 and HT29) resulted in increased expression of several key enzymes in fatty acid oxidation, such as carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2, acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, longchain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, C-2 to C-3 short chain, and hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase/3-ketoacyl-CoA thiolase/enoyl-CoA hydratase, alpha subunit. Collectively, these results demonstrated that FFAR2 deficiency significantly altered profiles of fatty acid metabolites and gut microbiome, which might promote colorectal cancer development.


Ffar2; ApcMin/+; Colorectal cancer; Metabolomics; Gut microbiota
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