Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 2, pp 2137–2143 | Cite as

Apoptotic effect of tannic acid on fatty acid synthase over-expressed human breast cancer cells

  • Fangyuan Nie
  • Yan Liang
  • Bing Jiang
  • Xiabing Li
  • Hang Xun
  • Wei He
  • Hay Tong Lau
  • Xiaofeng Ma
Original Article


Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers and is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in women worldwide. Novel therapies and chemo-therapeutic drugs are urgently needed to be developed for the treatment of breast cancer. Increasing evidence suggests that fatty acid synthase (FAS) plays an important role in breast cancer, for the expression of FAS is significantly higher in human breast cancer cells than in normal cells. Tannic acid (TA), a natural polyphenol, possesses significant biological functions, including bacteriostasis, hemostasis, and anti-oxidant. Our previous studies demonstrated that TA is a natural FAS inhibitor whose inhibitory activity is stronger than that of classical FAS inhibitors, such as C75 and cerulenin. This study further assessed the effect and therapeutic potential of TA on FAS over-expressed breast cancer cells, and as a result, TA had been proven to possess the functions of inhibiting intracellular FAS activity, down-regulating FAS expression in human breast cancer MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7 cells, and inducing cancer cell apoptosis. Since high-expressed FAS is recognized as a molecular marker for breast cancer and plays an important role in cancer prognosis, these findings suggest that TA is a potential drug candidate for treatment of breast cancer.


Tannic acid Fatty acid synthase Inhibit Apoptosis Breast cancer cell 



This work was supported by the Fusion of Science and Education Special Fund, College of Life Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (KJRH2015-012); Application Basic Research Project of Qinghai Province (2015-ZJ-728); Youth Innovation Promotion Association, CAS; 2014 Youth National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 31300292); The Key Program of “The Dawn of West China” Talent Foundation of CAS (2012); 2014 Youth National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.31300292); The Key Program of “The Dawn of West China” Talent Foundation of CAS (2012), as well as High-Tech Research and Development Program of Xinjiang (No. 201315108) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (No. 2013 M540785).

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fangyuan Nie
    • 1
  • Yan Liang
    • 2
  • Bing Jiang
    • 1
  • Xiabing Li
    • 3
  • Hang Xun
    • 3
  • Wei He
    • 4
  • Hay Tong Lau
    • 4
  • Xiaofeng Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Life SciencesUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Kinesiology and HealthCapital University of Physical Education and SportsBeijingChina
  3. 3.State Forestry AdministrationInternational Centre for Bamboo and Rattan Academy of Bioresource UtilizationBeijingChina
  4. 4.Gaubau Kender (Aletai, Xinjiang) Limited CompanyAletaiChina

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