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p53 Hampers Energy Metabolism In Cancer Cells

  April, 17 2008 7:11
your information resource in human molecular genetics

The tumour suppressor p53 can limit tumour development by inhibiting aerobic glycolysis reports a paper published online in Nature Cell Biology.

Cancer cells normally shift their metabolism to aerobic glycolysis - the conversion of glucose to lactic acid in the presence of oxygen - which confers an advantage in sustaining tumour growth.

p53 activity is lost in over half of human tumours; its primary role is to eliminate cells that have undergone oncogenic transformation by inducing cell growth arrest or programmed cell death. Nobuyuki Tanaka and colleagues found, by looking at p53-deficient primary fibroblasts, that loss of p53 leads to higher glucose metabolism, and demonstrated that this requires de-repression of the transcription factor NF-kB and one of its target genes called GLUT3.

This work reveals an additional function of p53 in restricting cell proliferation through suppression of NF-kB, which is important for maintaining normal levels of glucose metabolism and cell growth.

Author contact:

Nobuyuki Tanaka (Nippon Medical School, Kawasaki-shi, Japan)
E-mail: nobuta@nms.ac.jp

Abstract available online.

(C) Nature Cell Biology press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

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