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Anticancer Res. 2003 Mar-Apr;23(2A):1149-54.

The tumor metabolome.

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Institute for Biochemistry and Endocrinology, Veterinary Faculty, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen, Frankfurter Strasse 100, 35392 Giessen, Germany.


The tumor metabolome is characterized by high glycolytic and glutaminolytic capacities, high phosphometabolite levels and a high channelling of glucose carbons to synthetic processes. This allows tumor cells to proliferate under strong variations in oxygen and glucose supply ( One key regulator of the tumor metabolome is the glycolytic isoenzyme pyruvate kinase type M2 (M2-PK) that is generally over-expressed in all tumor cells. M2-PK can occur in a highly active tetrameric form and in a nearly inactive dimeric form. In tumor cells the dimeric form of M2-PK always predominates and has therefore been termed tumor M2-PK. The dimerization of M2-PK is caused by direct interaction of M2-PK with certain oncoproteins. When M2-PK is in its dimeric state energy is produced by glutaminolysis. The metabolic Achilles' heel of the tumor metabolome is its sensitivity to a reduction of NAD levels caused by activation of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase after DNA damage.

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