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.

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 August 1, 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 August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Texas Quintuplets Head Home

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) After four months in the hospital, the first quintuplets to be born at Baylor University Medical Center head home. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Ebola Patient Coming to U.S. for Treatment

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 1, 2014) A U.S. aid worker infected with Ebola while working in West Africa will be treated in a high security ward at Emory University in Atlanta. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Ebola Vaccine Might Be Coming, But Where's It Been?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Health officials are working to fast-track a vaccine — the West-African Ebola outbreak has killed more than 700. But why didn't we already have one? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Study Links Certain Birth Control Pills To Breast Cancer

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) Previous studies have made the link between birth control and breast cancer, but the latest makes the link to high-estrogen oral contraceptives. 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:
from the past week

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