The intersection of purine and mitochondrial metabolism in cancer

Humberto De Vitto, Danushka B. Arachchige, Brian C. Richardson, Jarrod B. French

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Nucleotides are essential to cell growth and survival, providing cells with building blocks for DNA and RNA, energy carriers, and cofactors. Mitochondria have a critical role in the production of intracellular ATP and participate in the generation of intermediates necessary for biosynthesis of macromolecules such as purines and pyrimidines. In this review, we highlight the role of purine and mitochondrial metabolism in cancer and how their intersection influences cancer progression, especially in ovarian cancer. Additionally, we address the importance of metabolic rewiring in cancer and how the evolving landscape of purine synthesis and mitochondria inhibitors can be potentially exploited for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2603
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 30 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Work on nucleotide metabolism in the French lab is supported by the National Institutes of Health (JBF, R35GM124898) and by the Hormel Institute through a Paint the Town Pink Award. DA would like to acknowledge the Fifth District Eagles for support in the form of an Eagles Telethon Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Amino acids
  • Cancers
  • Metabolic reprogramming
  • Mitochondrial metabolism
  • Purines


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