Cancer Metabolism Life Science PosterLife Science Posters
Genetic changes and epigenetic modifications in cancer cells alter the regulation of cellular metabolic pathways. Malignant transformation and altered metabolism are closely associated, because rapid cell proliferation places increased demand on metabolic processes that cannot be met by conventional cellular metabolism. Cancer cells require three crucial metabolic adaptations to enable proliferation and survival: increased ATP production to fuel their high energy needs; increased biosynthesis of cellular building blocks, i.e., proteins, lipids and nucleic acids; and an adapted redox system to counteract the increase in oxidative stress. Owing to the fundamental role of abnormal metabolism in cancer, it has been recognized as a hallmark of cancer. This cancer metabolic reprogramming is known as the Warburg effect after Otto Warburg who first described it.
Rapidly dividing cancer cells have an increased energy requirement, which is provided by cancer metabolic reprogramming. Normal cells mostly generate energy through oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), but cancer cells generate a large proportion of their ATP through glucose metabolism via aerobic glycolysis. However, aerobic glycolysis is a less efficient mechanism for producing ATP, so the rate of aerobic glycolysis can be increased by around 200-fold in cancer cells.
Altered cancer metabolism helps sustain tumor growth and cellular survival in a hypoxic and inflammatory environment. The distinct metabolic circuits associated with cancer metabolism could provide viable therapeutic targets.
Our Cancer Metabolism Poster summarizes the main metabolic pathways in cancer cells and highlights potential targets for cancer therapeutics.