Biomol Ther.  2018 Jan;26(1):19-28. 10.4062/biomolther.2017.178.

Targeting Glutamine Metabolism for Cancer Treatment

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University School of Medicine, Daegu 41944, Republic of Korea.


Rapidly proliferating cancer cells require energy and cellular building blocks for their growth and ability to maintain redox balance. Many studies have focused on understanding how cancer cells adapt their nutrient metabolism to meet the high demand of anabolism required for proliferation and maintaining redox balance. Glutamine, the most abundant amino acid in plasma, is a well-known nutrient used by cancer cells to increase proliferation as well as survival under metabolic stress conditions. In this review, we provide an overview of the role of glutamine metabolism in cancer cell survival and growth and highlight the mechanisms by which glutamine metabolism affects cancer cell signaling. Furthermore, we summarize the potential therapeutic approaches of targeting glutamine metabolism for the treatment of numerous types of cancer.


Cancer; Glutamine; Anaplerosis; Redox homeostasis
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