During the past decade, a heightened understanding of metabolic pathways in cancer has significantly increased. It is recognized that many tumor cells are genetically programmed and have involved an abnormal metabolic state. Interestingly, this increased metabolic autonomy generates dependence on various nutrients such as glucose and glutamine. Both of these components participate in various facets of metabolic activity that allow for energy production, synthesis of biomass, antioxidant defense, and the regulation of cell signaling. Here, we outline the emerging data on glutamine metabolism and address the molecular mechanisms underlying glutamine-induced cell survival. We also discuss novel therapeutic strategies to exploit glutamine addiction of certain cancer cell lines.
- Targeting glutamine metabolism
- Tumor suppressor