Cancer cell metabolism
Puzio-Kuter, Anna M. Department of Pediatrics, Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
- Warburg effect
- Metabolic changes in cancer: oncogenes, tumor suppressors, and the tumor microenvironment
- Diagnostic procedures and therapeutic perspectives
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A normal cell and a cancer cell differ in a number of ways. One important difference is seen in their metabolism. Cancer cells have an altered metabolism in comparison to normal cells: Specifically, they rely on the less efficient pathway, called aerobic glycolysis, to produce energy instead of the more efficient pathway, called oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). At first, this might seem counterintuitive, given that cancer cells are fast growing and therefore should require more energy than normal cells. However, the basis for the alteration stems from three basic needs of a cancer cell: energy production via rapid adenosine triphosphate (ATP) generation; increased biosynthesis of macromolecules; and maintenance of cellular redox status (adequate cellular levels of reducing agents such as NADPH or glutathione to inactivate damaging free radicals).
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