Novel targets in cancer metabolism are needed

Adaptations in central carbon metabolism are pervasive in cancer, and we are increasingly understanding their contributions to cancer development and maintenance (1). Yet, attempts to target central metabolic pathways therapeutically have not yet been very successful (2). This is to a large extent due to the fact that cancer cells and normal cells essentially use the same metabolic pathways (albeit with differences in the particular preference for one or the other pathway). Much effort is therefore being invested to find out how specific mutations lead to specific metabolic vulnerabilities that can be exploited therapeutically (2).

In our laboratory, we are mainly trying to identify the role of two enzymes in cancer metabolism (i.e. TIGAR and PGP, see below).

TIGAR : a p53-regulated enzyme with enigmatic catalytic function

PGP : a clean-up enzyme required for the parallel action of glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pahtway.