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Cell metabolism’s migration

Why ECM remodeling pathways could be the source of new cancer metabolism targets

As cancer metabolism undergoes a renaissance in the clinic, with compounds targeting growth factor and nutrient sensing pathways, basic research on metabolic processes in all cells is shining light on pathways that could yield new targets. A UCLA study has uncovered a link between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and glycolysis that could explain how cells gain the extra energy they need to migrate, a fundamental feature required for oncogenic transformation.

In a Cell study published Sept. 6, a group from the University of California Los Angeles demonstrated that when cells undergo ECM remodeling, which involves digesting then redepositing matrix proteins around cells, a metabolic pathway is triggered that increases glucose uptake.

In physiological states, digestion of the matrix stimulates migration during wound healing and growth during tissue expansion. Pathologically, ECM digestion lays the groundwork for cancer cells to grow and spread.

“In order

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