How many pathways are used by cancer cells?
Metabolic reprogramming is a major hallmark of cancer, which is characterized by upregulated glycolysis, glutaminolysis, lipid metabolism, pentose phosphate pathway, mitochondrial biogenesis, among others.
These metabolic programs provide cancer cells with not only energy but also vital metabolites to support large-scale biosynthesis, continuous proliferation and other major processes of tumorigenesis. Potent oncogenes as c-Myc, HIF1, Ras and PI3K/Akt are important promoters of cancer metabolic alterations. In contrast, major tumor suppressors such as p53 and LKB1/AMPK antagonize those changes and keep cellular metabolism in check.
Many compounds have been developed to selectively and effectively inhibit metabolic enzymes that are important for tumors.
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Phan, L. M., Yeung, S. C., & Lee, M. H. (2014). Cancer metabolic reprogramming: importance, main features, and potentials for precise targeted anti-cancer therapies. Cancer biology & medicine, 11(1), 119. https://doi.org/10.7497/j.issn.2095-3941.2014.01.001
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