Biosynthetic and Metabolic Alterations in Cancer Growth
Jie Zheng and Peng Gao
Affiliation: Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, People’s Republic of China.
Keywords: Biosynthesis, cancer, lipid, mTOR, nucleic acid, protein.
Although cancers are derived from human body, their metabolic regulations are different from most normal tissues
which mainly reflect on energy and biosynthesis metabolism. In energy metabolism, cancer cells take up glucose and
glutamine at a high rate for aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effects). Although aerobic glycolysis does seem wasteful, it is essential
for cancer growth in both energy supply and biosynthesis. In biosynthesis, nucleic acid, lipid and protein synthesis
are more active in cancer cells than normal cells, but synthetic pathways in cancer cells are different from normal cells,
cancer cells prefer to de novo synthesis even though it is not economic. Altered biosynthesis in cancer has challenges, but
also opportunities. Understanding the process of cancer biosynthesis will help to develop new approaches in early diagnosis
and target therapy of cancer.
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