Glutamine at focus: versatile roles in cancer

Humberto De Vitto, Juan Pérez-Valencia, James A. Radosevich

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1541-1558
Number of pages18
JournalTumor Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnológico (CNPq), Brazil (grant number BEX 9281/13-4).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM).


  • Cancer
  • Glutamine
  • Oncogene
  • Targeting glutamine metabolism
  • Tumor suppressor


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