The creatine/creatine kinase system decreases drastically in sarcoma. In the present study, an investigation of catalytic activities, western blot and mRNA expression unambiguously demonstrates the prominent expression of the creatine-synthesizing enzymes l-arginine:glycine amidinotransferase and N-guanidinoacetate methyltransferase in sarcoma, Ehrlich ascites carcinoma and Sarcoma 180 cells, whereas both enzymes were virtually undetectable in normal muscle. Compared to that of normal animals, these enzymes remained unaffected in the kidney or liver of sarcoma-bearing mice. High activity and expression of mitochondrial arginase II in sarcoma indicated increased ornithine formation. Slightly or moderately higher levels of ornithine, guanidinoacetate and creatinine were observed in sarcoma compared to muscle. Despite the intrinsically low level of creatine in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma and Sarcoma 180 cells, these cells could significantly take up and release creatine, suggesting a functional creatine transport, as verified by measuring mRNA levels of creatine transporter. Transcript levels of arginase II, ornithine-decarboxylase, S-adenosyl-homocysteine hydrolase and methionine-synthase were significantly upregulated in sarcoma and in Ehrlich ascites carcinoma and Sarcoma 180 cells. Overall, the enzymes related to creatine and arginine/methionine metabolism were found to be significantly upregulated in malignant cells. However, the low levels of creatine kinase in the same malignant cells do not appear to be sufficient for the building up of an effective creatine/phosphocreatine pool. Instead of supporting creatine biosynthesis, l-arginine:glycine amidinotransferase and N-guanidinoacetate methyltransferase appear to be geared to support cancer cell metabolism in the direction of polyamine and methionine synthesis because both these compounds are in high demand in proliferating cancer cells.