Background: Vitamin C (Vit C) is an important physiological antioxidant with growing applications
in cancer. Somatostatin (SST) is a natural peptide with growth inhibitory effect in several mammary cancer
Objective: The combined effects of SST and Vit C supplementation have never been studied in breast cancer
cells so far.
Methods: We used MCF-7 and MDA-MB231 breast cancer cells incubated with SST for 24h, in the absence
and presence of Vit C, at their EC50 concentrations, to evaluate membrane fatty acid-profiles together with the
follow-up of EGFR and MAPK signaling pathways.
Results: The two cell lines gave different membrane reorganization: in MCF-7 cells, decrease of omega-6 linoleic
acid and increase of omega-3 fatty acids (Fas) occurred after SST and SST+Vit C incubations, the latter also
showing significant increases in MUFA, docosapentaenoic acid and mono-trans arachidonic acid levels. In
MDA-MB231 cells, SST+Vit C incubation induced significant membrane remodeling with an increase of stearic
acid and mono-trans-linoleic acid isomer, diminution of omega-6 linoleic, arachidonic acid and omega-3
(docosapentaenoic and docosadienoic acids). Distinct signaling pathways in these cell lines were studied: in
MCF-7 cells, incubations with SST and Vit C, alone or in combination significantly decreased EGFR and
MAPK signaling, whereas in MDA-MB231 cells, SST and Vit C incubations, alone or combined, decreased p-
P44/42 MAPK levels, and increased EGFR levels.
Conclusion: Our results showed that SST and Vit C can be combined to induce membrane fatty acid changes,
including lipid isomerization through a specific free radical-driven process, influencing signaling pathways.