Cancer treatment has greatly improved over the last 50 years, but it remains challenging in several cases. Useful therapeutic targets are normally unique peculiarities of cancer cells that distinguish them from normal cells and that can be tackled with appropriate drugs. It is now known that cell metabolism is rewired during tumorigenesis and metastasis as a consequence of oncogene activation and oncosuppressors inactivation, leading to a new cellular homeostasis typically directed towards anabolism. Because of these modifications, cells can become strongly or absolutely dependent on specific substrates, like sugars, lipids or amino acids. Cancer addictions are a relevant target for therapy, as removal of an essential substrate can lead to their selective cell-cycle arrest or even to cell death, leaving normal cells untouched. Enzymes can act as powerful agents in this respect, as demonstrated by asparaginase, which has been included in the treatment of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia for half a century. In this review, a short outline of cancer addictions will be provided, focusing on the main cancer amino acid dependencies described so far. Therapeutic enzymes which have been already experimented at the clinical level will be discussed, along with novel potential candidates that we propose as new promising molecules. The intrinsic limitations of their present molecular forms, along with molecular engineering solutions to explore, will also be presented.

Enzymes in metabolic anticancer therapy

Maggi M.
Investigation
;
Scotti C.
Investigation
2019-01-01

Abstract

Cancer treatment has greatly improved over the last 50 years, but it remains challenging in several cases. Useful therapeutic targets are normally unique peculiarities of cancer cells that distinguish them from normal cells and that can be tackled with appropriate drugs. It is now known that cell metabolism is rewired during tumorigenesis and metastasis as a consequence of oncogene activation and oncosuppressors inactivation, leading to a new cellular homeostasis typically directed towards anabolism. Because of these modifications, cells can become strongly or absolutely dependent on specific substrates, like sugars, lipids or amino acids. Cancer addictions are a relevant target for therapy, as removal of an essential substrate can lead to their selective cell-cycle arrest or even to cell death, leaving normal cells untouched. Enzymes can act as powerful agents in this respect, as demonstrated by asparaginase, which has been included in the treatment of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia for half a century. In this review, a short outline of cancer addictions will be provided, focusing on the main cancer amino acid dependencies described so far. Therapeutic enzymes which have been already experimented at the clinical level will be discussed, along with novel potential candidates that we propose as new promising molecules. The intrinsic limitations of their present molecular forms, along with molecular engineering solutions to explore, will also be presented.
2019
978-981-13-7708-2
978-981-13-7709-9
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1294746
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