Nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathways and their direct role in ribose synthesis in tumors: Is cancer a disease of cellular glucose metabolism?

L. G. Boros, P. W N Lee, J. L. Brandes, M. Cascante, Peter Muscarella, W. J. Schirmer, W. Scott Melvin, E. C. Ellison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Pentose phosphate pathways (PPP) are considered important in tumor proliferation processes because of their role in supplying tumor cells with reduced NADP and carbons for intracellular anabolic processe. Direct involvement of PPP in tumor DNA/RNA synthesis is not considered as significant as in lipid and protein syntheses. Currently, PPP activity in tumor cells is measured by lactate production, which shows a moderate activity: about 4% to 7% compared with glycolysis. Recent data generated in our laboratory indicate that PPP are directly involved in ribose synthesis in pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells, through oxidative steps (< 31%) and transketolase reactions (69%). These findings raise serious questions about the adequacy of lactate in measuring PPP activity in tumors. We hypothesize that ribose, not lactate, is the major product of PPP in tumor cells. Control of both oxidative and nonoxidative PPP may be critical in the treatment of cancer. PPP are substantially involved in the proliferation of human tumors, which raises the prospect of new treatment strategies targeting specific biochemical reactions of PPP by hormones related to glucose metabolism, controlling thiamine intake, the cofactor of the nonoxidative transketolase PPP reaction, or treating cancer patients with antithiamine analogues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-59
Number of pages5
JournalMedical Hypotheses
Volume50
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Pentose Phosphate Pathway
Ribose
Glucose
Neoplasms
Transketolase
Lactic Acid
Thiamine
Glycolysis
NADP
Adenocarcinoma
Carbon
Hormones
RNA
Lipids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Drug Discovery

Cite this

Nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathways and their direct role in ribose synthesis in tumors : Is cancer a disease of cellular glucose metabolism? / Boros, L. G.; Lee, P. W N; Brandes, J. L.; Cascante, M.; Muscarella, Peter; Schirmer, W. J.; Melvin, W. Scott; Ellison, E. C.

In: Medical Hypotheses, Vol. 50, No. 1, 01.1998, p. 55-59.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Boros, L. G. ; Lee, P. W N ; Brandes, J. L. ; Cascante, M. ; Muscarella, Peter ; Schirmer, W. J. ; Melvin, W. Scott ; Ellison, E. C. / Nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathways and their direct role in ribose synthesis in tumors : Is cancer a disease of cellular glucose metabolism?. In: Medical Hypotheses. 1998 ; Vol. 50, No. 1. pp. 55-59.
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