Lipid mediators can trigger physiological responses by activating nuclear hormone receptors, such as the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). PPARs, in turn, control the expression of networks of genes encoding proteins involved in all aspects of lipid metabolism. In addition, PPARs are tumor growth modifiers, via the regulation of cancer cell apoptosis, proliferation, and differentiation, and through their action on the tumor cell environment, namely, angiogenesis, inflammation, and immune cell functions. Epidemiological studies have established that tumor progression may be exacerbated by chronic inflammation. Here, we describe the production of the lipids that act as activators of PPARs, and we review the roles of these receptors in inflammation and cancer. Finally, we consider emerging strategies for therapeutic intervention.
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