Transketolase-like 1 expression correlates with subtypes of ovarian cancer and the presence of distant metastases

Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2007 Jan-Feb;17(1):101-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1438.2007.00799.x.


Tumorbiology of ovarian cancer remains unclear. However, it is known that ovarian tumors, especially carcinomas, show elevated expression of glucose membrane transporters for facilitated glucose uptake. It can be assumed that increased glucose uptake leads to higher glucose metabolism. The energy resources of fully malignant transformed carcinomas are mainly supplied by aerobic glycolysis, for which several pathways are known. A key role in aerobic glycolysis is described for the transketolase enzymes. Recently, a novel transketolase-like enzyme called transketolase-like 1 (TKTL1) has been described that links aerobic glycolysis to the synthesis of fatty acids via production of acetyl-CoA. In order to investigate the role of TKTL1 for the progression of ovarian carcinomas, we examined paraffin sections of normal ovarian tissues, ovarian borderline tumors, and mucinous or serous papillary ovarian adenocarcinomas with respect to their expression of TKTL1. We identified a significantly elevated expression of TKTL1 in serous papillary ovarian adenocarcinomas, which correlates with poor prognostic parameters in the examined study group. Therefore, it can be assumed that TKTL1 plays a crucial role in ovarian cancer metabolism and that its expression predicts poor prognosis. Further investigations should be performed in order to evaluate whether this new enzyme is important for ovarian cancer tumorbiology and to analyze the potential role of TKTL1 as new target for specific antitumoral therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Transketolase / biosynthesis*


  • TKTL1 protein, human
  • Transketolase