Signaling, metabolism, and cancer: An important relationship for therapeutic intervention.


Vaghari-Tabari M(1)(2), Ferns GA(3), Qujeq D(4)(5), Andevari AN(6), Sabahi Z(7), Moein S(7).
Author information:
(1)Department of Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine, School of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
(2)Immunology Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
(3)Department of Medical Education, Brighton & Sussex Medical School, Falmer, Brighton, Sussex, UK.
(4)Cellular and Molecular Biology Research Center
(CMBRC), Health Research Institute, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
(5)Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Babol University of Medical Sciences, Babol, Iran.
(6)Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran.
(7)Medicinal Plants Processing Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


In cancerous cells, significant changes occur in the activity of signaling pathways affecting a wide range of cellular activities ranging from growth and proliferation to apoptosis, invasiveness, and metastasis. Extensive changes also happen with respect to the metabolism of a cancerous cell encompassing a wide range of functions that include: nutrient acquisition, biosynthesis of macromolecules, and energy generation. These changes are important and some therapeutic approaches for treating cancers have focused on targeting the metabolism of cancerous cells. Oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes have a significant effect on the metabolism of cells. There appears to be a close interaction between metabolism and the signaling pathways in a cancerous cell, in which the interaction provides the metabolic needs of a cancerous cell for uncontrolled proliferation, resistance to apoptosis, and metastasis. In this review, we have reviewed the latest findings in this regard and briefly review the most recent research findings regarding targeting the metabolism of cancer cells as a therapeutic approach for treatment of cancer.