The metabolic requirements of cancer cells differ from that of their normal counterparts. To support their proliferation, cancer cells switch to a fermentative metabolism that is thought to support biomass production. Instances where metabolic enzymes promote tumorigenesis remain rare. However, an enzyme involved in the de novo synthesis of serine, 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), was recently identified as a putative oncogene. The potential mechanisms by which PHGDH promotes cancer are discussed.
2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.