Researches on tumor metabolism are hot issues, but now many researches focused on the grade and heterogeneity of tumor and the researches about the metabolism of tumor stem cell (TSC) are very limited.
On 6th February, a study about the metabolism of TSC done by Prof. Huang Bo’s research team of School of Basic Medicine of HUST was published online in the journal Oncogene. Luo Shunqun and Li Yong, two PhD candidates at HUST, are co-first authors of this study.
In the article named Downregulation of PCK2 remodels tricarboxylic acid cycle in tumor-repopulating cells of melanoma, the team took the tumor-repopulating cells (TRCs) selected by culturing single cancer cells within fibrin gels as the model of TSC research (Nature Materials. 2012 Jul 1; 11(8): 734–741.) and explored the impact of the metabolic pathway of tumor cells on the growth and self-renewal of tumor-repopulating cells. By comparing the metabolic properties of TRCs and differentiated tumor cells, the team found the downregulation of mitochondrial phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK2) in TRCs of melanoma and proved that PCK2 downregulation remodels tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA cycle) in TRCs of melanoma. By building a balance between glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation and TCA cycle, PCK2 downregulation promotes the growth of TRCs and maintains the properties of stem cells. The research also unveiled that the expression of PCK2 is closely related to the life expectancy of cancer patients. As an important metabolic property of TRCs in melanoma, PCK2 is expected to be used as a new target in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Oncogene is a world-renowned journal published by the Nature Publishing Group (NPG), covering all aspects of the structure and function of oncogenes. It received a 2015 impact factor of 7.932.
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