Complex interrelationships between nitro-alkene-dependent inhibition of soluble epoxide hydrolase, inflammation and tumor growth

Hyun Ju Cho, Christopher Harry Switzer, Alisa Kamynina, Rebecca Charles, Olena Rudyk, Tony Ng, Joseph Robert Burgoyne, Philip Eaton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Nitro-oleate (10-nitro-octadec-9-enoic acid), which inhibits soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) by covalently adducting to C521, increases the abundance of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) that can be health promoting, for example by lowering blood pressure or their anti-inflammatory actions. However, perhaps consistent with their impact on angiogenesis, increases in EETs may exacerbate progression of some cancers. To assess this, Lewis lung carcinoma (LLc1) cells were exposed to oleate or nitro-oleate, with the latter inhibiting the hydrolase and increasing their proliferation and migration in vitro. The enhanced proliferation induced by nitro-oleate was EET-dependent, being attenuated by the ETT-receptor antagonist 14,15-EE-5(Z)-E. LLc1 cells were engineered to stably overexpress wild-type or C521S sEH, with the latter exhibiting resistance to nitro-oleate-dependent hydrolase inhibition and the associated stimulation of tumor growth in vitro or in vivo. Nitro-oleate also increased migration in endothelial cells isolated from wild-type (WT) mice, but not those from C521S sEH knock-in (KI) transgenic mice genetically modified to render the hydrolase electrophile-resistant. These observations were consistent with nitro-oleate promoting cancer progression, and so the impact of this electrophile was examined in vivo again, but this time comparing growth of LLc1 cells expressing constitutive levels of wild-type hydrolase when implanted into WT or KI mice. Nitro-oleate inhibited tumor sEH (P < 0.05), with a trend for elevated plasma 11(12)-EET/DHET and 8(9)EET/DHET (dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid) ratios when administered to WT, but not KI, mice. Although in vitro studies with LLc1 cells supported a role for nitro-oleate in cancer cell proliferation, it failed to significantly stimulate tumor growth in WT mice implanted with the same LLc1 cells in vivo, perhaps due to its well-established anti-inflammatory actions. Indeed, pro-inflammatory cytokines were significantly down-regulated in nitro-oleate treated WT mice, potentially countering any impact of the concomitant inhibition of sEH.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101405
JournalRedox Biology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • Alkenes
  • Animals
  • Endothelial Cells
  • Epoxide Hydrolases/genetics
  • Inflammation
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms


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