The Biochemical Modification of Tumour Cells

Journal of Surgery

ISSN: [Jurnalul de chirurgie]
ISSN: 1584-9341

Open Access

Opinion - (2022) Volume 18, Issue 9

The Biochemical Modification of Tumour Cells

Marvin Jesse*
*Correspondence: Marvin Jesse, Department of Neurosurgery, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland, Email:
Department of Neurosurgery, Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland

Received: 14-Sep-2022, Manuscript No. jos-22-76174; Editor assigned: 19-Sep-2022, Pre QC No. P-76174; Reviewed: 26-Sep-2022, QC No. Q-76174; Revised: 29-Sep-2022, Manuscript No. R-76174; Published: 03-Oct-2022 , DOI: 10.37421/1584-9341.2022.18.56
Citation: Jesse, Marvin. “The Biochemical Modification of Tumour Cells.” J Surg 18 (2022): 56.
Copyright: © 2022 Jesse M. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Cancer is a group of illnesses with different histology and genetic characteristics. Nonetheless, all malignancies have basic biological characteristics, the most important of which is unregulated growth. Several lines of evidence suggest that cancer cells go through a sophisticated metabolic reprogramming in order to meet the increasing demands for macromolecules and energy for growth. Although these discoveries have only lately been empirically proven, due to the development of relevant analytical tools and cancer models, the idea that cancer cells' metabolism is changed is not new. Indeed, the energy requirements of cell proliferation were first considered around the turn of the twentieth century, due to the burgeoning study of biochemistry [1].

About the Study

The German scientist von Wassermann, a famous bacteriologist, was the first to draw this connection, hypothesising that cancer cells need more oxygen owing to their faster growth rate. Following this premise, he set out to target cancer cells with a selenium derivative, a medication suspected to disturb cell respiration. Despite encouraging rodent studies, this medicine was shown to be hazardous in humans, and additional research demonstrated that selenium was not as powerful in killing cancer cells as previously assumed, rendering Wackermann's discoveries speculative. A more systematic research of cancer metabolism began a few years later, thanks to the laborious effort of Otto Warburg. In his early work, discovered that cancer cells use huge quantities of glucose even when oxygen is present.

Following the revelation that the mitochondria perform respiration, Warburg proposed that cancer transformation was driven by intrinsic abnormalities in mitochondrial function. Despite the controversy, Warburg's insight sparked various lines of study devoted to understanding the biochemical causes of cancer transformation, leading to the identification of several metabolic vulnerabilities of cancer cells. The discovery of the involvement of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes in cancer and the explanation of the structure of 2 Marco. DNA in the late 1970s temporarily shifted scientists' attention to the developing subject of cancer genetics. Cancer metabolism has been largely ignored until the late 1990s, when Chi Van Dang's research discovered that the oncogene c-Myc actively contributes to aerobic metabolism [2].

However, at this point, changed metabolism was viewed as an epiphenomenon of cell transformation, a byproduct of oncogene-induced reprogramming. The discovery that mutations of the housekeeping metabolic enzymes succinate dehydrogenase and fumarate hydratase were associated with hereditary forms of cancer in the early 2000s substantiated the link between metabolism and cancer, highlighting the possibility that, in some circumstances, altered metabolism could be the cause, rather than the effect, of cancer transformation. These findings sparked a renaissance in the study of cancer metabolism, which integrated pregenomic biochemical understanding of cell metabolism with modern highthroughput approaches like as transcriptomics and metabolomics.

This collaborative effort resulted in the identification of a number of oncogenes and tumour suppressors involved in the control of cancer metabolism, as well as the finding that critical metabolic enzymes, if altered, predispose to cancer. It is now obvious that metabolic reprogramming is a necessary stage in cancer transformation, essential to support uncontrolled proliferation induced by the activation of oncogenic signalling cascades, transforming cancer metabolism from anecdotal evidence to a cancer signature. We will address three important components of cancer cell metabolic transformation, aerobic glycolysis, mitochondrial reprogramming, and unregulated lipid metabolism, and how these contribute to biomass creation for cancer growth and proliferation in this chapter [3].

Aerobic glycolysis is the metabolic process that turns glucose into lactate even when normal cells fully oxidise glucose in the mitochondria. This metabolic characteristic of cancer cells, originally observed by in the early twentieth century, was first assumed to be caused by innate mitochondrial malfunction. However, as we will see later, the oxidative ability of mitochondria is intact in cancer cells. We now know that aerobic glycolysis is genetically defined, and its involvement in proliferation extends beyond cancer cells. Aerobic glycolysis has been reported in nontransformed cells such as activated lymphocytes and embryonic stem cells. These findings suggest that aerobic glycolysis might be regarded as a general metabolic characteristic of proliferating cells [4].

Glycolysis, the process by which glucose is converted into pyruvate, creates 2 molecules of ATP per molecule of glucose, whereas complete oxidation of glucose via mitochondria generates 31 molecules of ATP. Aerobic glycolysis is an inefficient pathway for ATP synthesis, according to pure stoichiometric calculations, and the transition to this metabotype appears to be a contradiction for cancer cells. This argument, however, falls short on at least two counts. First, it has been claimed that rapid proliferation does not raise the cell's ATP need. In reality, Kilburn and colleagues determined in a landmark paper that the majority of ATP in the cell is utilised by activities involved in cell homeostasis, such as the maintenance of electrochemical gradients and protein turnover [5].


Given the huge quantity of glucose taken up by cancer cells per unit time, it has been proposed that the amount of ATP created by aerobic glycolysis may even surpass cancer cells' ATP needs. Importantly, if there is insufficient ATP turnover, ADP and phosphate become limiting factors for glycolysis, and ATP buildup causes allosteric inhibition of critical metabolic enzymes such as phosphofructokinase, thus stopping the whole glycolytic flow. As a result, it has been argued that aerobic glycolysis is linked to, or possibly driven by, abnormal ATP-consuming processes found in cancer cells. Initially, a faulty Na+/K+ plasma membrane ATPase was considered to be the primary ATP sink in cancer cells. Other cancer-specific ATP-consuming enzymes have recently been discovered.


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