Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Cancer

A tumour's Kras behaviour

Growing cancer cells divert glucose and other nutrients away from energy-producing pathways towards those that make complex molecules that can be used as building blocks. The cancer gene Kras promotes this diversion in pancreatic cancer.

Using a mouse model of the most common type of pancreatic cancer, Alec Kimmelman at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, Ronald DePinho, now at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and their colleagues show that the pancreatic tumours need mutant Kras to survive. The mutant protein shunts glucose metabolism towards two pathways — one that adds sugars to proteins and another that makes precursors for DNA and RNA synthesis — by downregulating a glucose transporter and other key enzymes.

The enzymes altered by mutant Kras represent potential new drug targets, the authors conclude.

Cell 149, 693–707 (2012)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

A tumour's Kras behaviour. Nature 485, 8–9 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1038/485008d

Download citation

Search

Quick links