It has long been known that cancer cells have an altered metabolism, and this is manifested in several biochemical pathways, and in particular, how they get their energy for survival.
When healthy cells are using respiratory chain of mitochondria, tumors using aerobic glycolysis, a process that allows them to quickly pick up the energy as a function of glucose. This phenomenon known as the Warburg effect, caused by several changes occurring during cell transformation.
The new paper describes the epigenetic damage observed in human tumors, which creates a modified path for energy. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, a new study led by Manel Estellera, Professor of Genetics Faculty of Medicine and Sciences of the University of Barcelona's health.
According to Professor Estellera, who led the new research study, scientists found that squamous tumors in the head, neck, esophagus and cervix show activity loss SVIP gene that prevents the degradation of proteins, which are important for cell balance. Error in SVIP gene function causes the destruction of the metabolic mechanisms that allow to produce energy in a controlled manner.
"We have seen patients with these metabolic changes that have low survival rates, - says Manel Esteller -. However, the glucose dependency of cancer cells may be their weakness Therefore, preclinical studies have shown that patients with loss of epigenetic gene SVIP sensitive to. medicines against glucose receptor, that block the entry of the molecule and cause a kind of "withdrawal syndrome" tumors, which inhibits their growth. "