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Metabolic enzyme is upregulated in patients with non-small cell lung cancer

JCI Journals

The majority of lung cancers are classified as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Even with early detection, the 5-year survival rate for patients with NSCLC is less that 50%. Compared to the surrounding tissue, cancer cells have increased energy demands to maintain rapid proliferation. Cancer cells have been shown to alter their metabolic profile to meet the increased demand in energy. A new study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation identifies a metabolic enzyme that is upregulated in patients with NSCLC. Teresa Fan and colleagues at the University of Kentucky evaluated expression of pyruvate carboxylase (PC), which generates intermediates for energy production, in patients with early-stage NSCLC. PC was selectively activated in NSCLC and its expression was specifically elevated in cancerous tissues. Reduction of PC in cultured cancer cells or in a mouse tumor model decreased cancer cell growth. Together, the results of this study suggest that inhibition of PC should be further explored for treatment of NSCLC.



Pyruvate carboxylase is critical for non-small-cell lung cancer proliferation


Teresa Fan
University of Louisville, Louisville, KY, USA
Phone: 502-852-6448; Fax: 502-852-7214; E-mail:

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In vivo analysis of lung cancer metabolism: nothing like the real thing


Ralph DeBerardinis
UT Southwestern Dallas, USA

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