Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Colon cancer, metabolism link found

Date:
May 13, 2014
Source:
EMBO - excellence in life sciences
Summary:
Rather than the typical series of oxidative steps that take place in the citric acid cycle, cancer cells metabolize sugar via the glycolytic pathway irrespective of whether oxygen is present or not. Researchers report that the reason for this difference in colon cancer is changes in the Wnt signaling pathway, an essential communication pathway operating in these tumors.

Rather than the typical series of oxidative steps that take place in the citric acid cycle, cancer cells metabolize sugar via the glycolytic pathway irrespective of whether oxygen is present or not. In The EMBO Journal, researchers in the United States report that the reason for this difference in colon cancer is changes in the Wnt signaling pathway, an essential communication pathway operating in these tumors.

Related Articles


More than 60 years ago Otto Warburg recognized that cancer cells differ from normal cells in the metabolic pathway they use for the oxidation of sugar. Rather than the typical series of oxidative steps that take place in the citric acid cycle, cancer cells metabolize sugar via the glycolytic pathway irrespective of whether oxygen is present or not. In The EMBO Journal, researchers in the United States report that the reason for this difference in colon cancer is changes in the Wnt signaling pathway, an essential communication pathway operating in these tumors.

"Cancer cells have different metabolic demands than normal cells," remarked Marian Waterman, Professor at the University of California, Irvine and the lead author of the study. "However, until now the molecular evidence for how this metabolic reprogramming takes place in cancers of the colon has not been very well defined. Our results show that Wnt signaling plays an important role in establishing aerobic glycolysis as the predominant sugar-metabolizing pathway to support colon cancer. We have also been able to identify one of the key molecular targets for the Wnt signal in cancer cells."

Wnt signaling has been implicated for some time in the development of many cancers, including colon cancer. However, these effects have been attributed to its action on the cell cycle. The researchers decided to investigate if Wnt had another role in cancer, specifically on metabolism, due to their observations of changes to the genes of metabolic enzymes in microarray experiments for colon cancer cells.

Biochemical assays and advanced imaging techniques in live cells revealed that blocking the activity of Wnt reduced glycolysis, promoted a shift to sugar metabolism by the citric acid cycle, and reduced tumor growth. The researchers also identified the enzyme pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 as one of the targets for Wnt activity related to its effects on metabolism.

"In addition to reducing the size of tumors, blocking Wnt in the colon cancer cells reduced the number of blood vessels feeding the tumor. These effects could be reversed by restoring the activity of glycolysis-promoting pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 in the cancer cells," said Waterman. "Our findings illustrate that glycolysis in the cancer cells promotes blood vessel development in the nearby environment for glucose delivery to the growing tumor."

The findings of the study have implications for the development of cancer therapies targeting the Wnt pathway. The choice of system or assay used to study the effects of Wnt inhibitors can make a big difference to drug testing. "Just because a Wnt inhibitor or potential drug candidate shows no effect on cell division in one molecular test does not mean that it might not have beneficial effects for cancer treatment due to its impact on metabolism in another test," said Waterman.

"Although more work is needed to define the complete effects of Wnt signaling on metabolism, it appears that this mechanism can be added to the growing list of signal transduction pathways that directly contribute to the regulation of cellular metabolism," said Craig Thompson, professor at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in the United States who is not an author of the paper.

Wnt signaling directs a metabolic program of glycolysis and angiogenesis in colon cancer.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by EMBO - excellence in life sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. T. Pate, C. Stringari, S. Sprowl-Tanio, K. Wang, T. TeSlaa, N. P. Hoverter, M. M. McQuade, C. Garner, M. A. Digman, M. A. Teitell, R. A. Edwards, E. Gratton, M. L. Waterman. Wnt signaling directs a metabolic program of glycolysis and angiogenesis in colon cancer. The EMBO Journal, 2014; DOI: 10.15252/embj.201488598

Cite This Page:

EMBO - excellence in life sciences. "Colon cancer, metabolism link found." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513091653.htm>.
EMBO - excellence in life sciences. (2014, May 13). Colon cancer, metabolism link found. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513091653.htm
EMBO - excellence in life sciences. "Colon cancer, metabolism link found." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140513091653.htm (accessed November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

From Popcorn To Vending Snacks: FDA Ups Calorie Count Rules

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — The US FDA is announcing new calorie rules on Tuesday that will require everywhere from theaters to vending machines to include calorie counts. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

Madagascar Working to Contain Plague Outbreak

AFP (Nov. 24, 2014) — Madagascar said Monday it is trying to contain an outbreak of plague -- similar to the Black Death that swept Medieval Europe -- that has killed 40 people and is spreading to the capital Antananarivo. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) — A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) — Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins