Regulation of mevalonate metabolism in cancer and immune cells

Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Jun;1831(6):1009-15. doi: 10.1016/j.bbalip.2013.03.003. Epub 2013 Mar 21.


The mevalonate pathway is a highly conserved metabolic cascade and provides isoprenoid building blocks for the biosynthesis of vital cellular products such as cholesterol or prenyl pyrophosphates that serve as substrates for the posttranslational prenylation of numerous proteins. The pathway, which is frequently hyperactive in cancer cells, is considered an important target in cancer therapy, since prenylated members of the Ras superfamily are crucially involved in the control of proliferation, survival, invasion and metastasis of tumour cells. Upstream accumulation and downstream depletion of mevalonate pathway intermediates as induced for instance by aminobisphosphonates translate into different effects in cancer and immune cells. Thus, mevalonate pathway regulation can affect tumour biology either directly or exhibit indirect antitumour effects through stimulating cancer immune surveillance. The present review summarizes major effects of pharmacologic mevalonate pathway regulation in cancer and immune cells that may collaboratively contribute to the efficacy of cancer therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / physiology*
  • Mevalonic Acid / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Mevalonic Acid