Affiliation: Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing 210009, People’s Republic of China.
Although cancers are derived from human body, their metabolic regulations are different from most normal tissues which mainly reflect on energy and biosynthesis metabolism. In energy metabolism, cancer cells take up glucose and glutamine at a high rate for aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effects). Although aerobic glycolysis does seem wasteful, it is essential for cancer growth in both energy supply and biosynthesis. In biosynthesis, nucleic acid, lipid and protein synthesis are more active in cancer cells than normal cells, but synthetic pathways in cancer cells are different from normal cells, cancer cells prefer to de novo synthesis even though it is not economic. Altered biosynthesis in cancer has challenges, but also opportunities. Understanding the process of cancer biosynthesis will help to develop new approaches in early diagnosis and target therapy of cancer.