Cancer metabolism

Cancer metabolism refers to the alterations in cellular metabolism pathways that are evident in cancer cells compared with most normal tissue cells. Metabolic alterations in cancer cells are numerous and include aerobic glycolysis, reduced oxidative phosphorylation and the increased generation of biosynthetic intermediates needed for cell growth and proliferation.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Glutamine metabolism is increased in proliferating cells under hypoxia potentially generating exceeding nitrogen. Here the authors show that under hypoxia a specific metabolic pathway is activated to push glutamine carbons and excess nitrogen via the reductive pathway to dihyroorotate which is then secreted by the cells and that such pathway is necessary for tumor growth.

    • Yuanyuan Wang
    • , Changsen Bai
    • , Yuxia Ruan
    • , Miao Liu
    • , Qiaoyun Chu
    • , Li Qiu
    • , Chuanzhen Yang
    •  & Binghui Li
  • Research | | open

    • Katarzyna Parzych
    • , Paula Saavedra-García
    • , Gabriel N. Valbuena
    • , Hibah A. Al-Sadah
    • , Mark E. Robinson
    • , Lucy Penfold
    • , Desislava M. Kuzeva
    • , Angie Ruiz-Tellez
    • , Sandra Loaiza
    • , Viktoria Holzmann
    • , Valentina Caputo
    • , David C. Johnson
    • , Martin F. Kaiser
    • , Anastasios Karadimitris
    • , Eric W-F Lam
    • , Eric Chevet
    • , Niklas Feldhahn
    • , Hector C. Keun
    •  & Holger W. Auner
    Oncogene, 1-16
  • Research | | open

    Most tumours are characterized by increased aerobic glycolytic activity. Here the authors show that elevated  aerobic glycolysis is not essential for cancer initiation by testing the effect of lactate dehydrogenase depletion on the ability of hair follicle stem cells (HFSCs) to form squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in mouse genetic models.

    • A. Flores
    • , S. Sandoval-Gonzalez
    • , R. Takahashi
    • , A. Krall
    • , L. Sathe
    • , L. Wei
    • , C. Radu
    • , J. Jolly
    • , N. Graham
    • , H. R. Christofk
    •  & W. E. Lowry
  • Research | | open

    Cancer cells are metabolically adaptable and the identification of specific vulnerabilities is challenging. Here the authors identify a subset of neuroendocrine cell lines exquisitely sensitive to inhibition of SQLE, an enzyme in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, due to the toxic accumulation of pathway intermediate squalene.

    • Christopher E. Mahoney
    • , David Pirman
    • , Victor Chubukov
    • , Taryn Sleger
    • , Sebastian Hayes
    • , Zi Peng Fan
    • , Eric L. Allen
    • , Ying Chen
    • , Lingling Huang
    • , Meina Liu
    • , Yingjia Zhang
    • , Gabrielle McDonald
    • , Rohini Narayanaswamy
    • , Sung Choe
    • , Yue Chen
    • , Stefan Gross
    • , Giovanni Cianchetta
    • , Anil K. Padyana
    • , Stuart Murray
    • , Wei Liu
    • , Kevin M. Marks
    • , Joshua Murtie
    • , Marion Dorsch
    • , Shengfang Jin
    • , Nelamangala Nagaraja
    • , Scott A. Biller
    • , Thomas Roddy
    • , Janeta Popovici-Muller
    •  & Gromoslaw A. Smolen
  • Research | | open

    TOP1MT is a topoisomerase that is localised to mitochondria. Here, the authors show that TOP1MT has a tumor promoting role in hepatocellular carcinoma by supporting mitochondrial translation and that its deficiency limits tumorigenicity.

    • S. A. Baechler
    • , V. M. Factor
    • , I. Dalla Rosa
    • , A. Ravji
    • , D. Becker
    • , S. Khiati
    • , L. M. Miller Jenkins
    • , M. Lang
    • , C. Sourbier
    • , S. A. Michaels
    • , L. M. Neckers
    • , H. L. Zhang
    • , A. Spinazzola
    • , S. N. Huang
    • , J. U. Marquardt
    •  & Y. Pommier

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    Poillet-Perez et al. show that autophagy in non-tumour tissues in tumour-bearing mice inhibits release of the arginine-degrading enzyme arginase 1 (ARG1) from the liver into circulation, thereby maintaining the levels of arginine in the circulation and contributing to tumour growth.

    • Ulrike Harjes
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Cancer cells consume and utilize glucose at a higher rate than normal cells. However, some microenvironments limit the availability of nutrients and glucose. In 2018, researchers found that tumours depend on a variety of different nutrient sources, both locally and systemically, to overcome metabolic limitations and promote tumour progression and metastasis.

    • Alexander R. Terry
    •  & Nissim Hay
  • Research Highlights |

    Ye et al. show that leukaemia cells induce insulin resistance in the host to limit glucose consumption by healthy tissues, thereby augmenting the amount of available glucose for cancer growth.

    • Maria Giuseppina Baratta
    Nature Reviews Cancer 18, 722-723
  • News and Views |

    A recently published study has evaluated metabolism in human clear cell renal carcinomas (ccRCCs) using intraoperative [13C]glucose infusion during surgical procedures. The findings demonstrate aerobic glycolysis and repression of the Krebs cycle, confirming the existence of the Warburg effect in ccRCC tumours in vivo.

    • Daniel R. Crooks
    •  & W. Marston Linehan