The Hallmarks of Cancers #1 – Deregulating Cellular Energetics


I wrote a moderate-length review of Hanahan and Weinberg’s papers a few months ago.

In their papers, they discuss the most common similarities among cancers and they base their writing on ~5 decades of research in this field.

While each cancer is unique, especially if we view it from a genetics standpoint, Hanahan and Weinberg discuss 8 hallmarks they found to be common in cancers.

Their 2011 paper is about 30 pages long and, given the advance in technology that has happened ever since, I think it would deserve another iteration (an updated 2016 paper), especially since it has received so many citations. In fact, both papers, the 2000 and the 2011, have generated more than 40,000 citations according to Google Scholar.

That’s what made me want to get into a certain level of detail with each hallmark. I decided to write a post about each of them. The first one in the series involves reprogramming of energy metabolism.

Since I already wrote about it on my steemit blog, I’ll only briefly introduce it here and invite you to read the entire post there.

In a few words:

– in normal cells, when O2 is present, normal cells use glucose via glycolysis and ETC
– in normal cells, when O2 is absent, normal cells rely on anaerobic glycolysis
– cancer cells reprogram this: to use glycolysis regardless of the O2 availability
– lactate dehydrogenase in one enzyme with altered activity that allows this to take place

Why this altered energy metabolism?

One theory is that it supports increased biomass production, hence leading to rapid proliferation of the tumor.

To read the entirety of this post, please see my steemit blog.

Image: Adapted from Hanahan and Weinberg

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