Genomics has contributed to the treatment of a fraction of cancer patients. However, there is a need to profile the proteins that define the phenotype of cancer and its pathogenesis. The reprogramming of metabolism is a major trait of the cancer phenotype with great potential for prognosis and targeted therapy. This review overviews the major changes reported in the steady-state levels of proteins of metabolism in primary carcinomas, paying attention to those enzymes that correlate with patients' survival. The upregulation of enzymes of glycolysis, pentose phosphate pathway, lipogenesis, glutaminolysis and the antioxidant defense is concurrent with the downregulation of mitochondrial proteins involved in oxidative phosphorylation, emphasizing the potential of mitochondrial metabolism as a promising therapeutic target in cancer. We stress that high-throughput quantitative expression profiling of differentially expressed proteins in large cohorts of carcinomas paired with normal tissues will accelerate translation of metabolism to a successful personalized medicine in cancer.
Keywords: ATP synthase; ATPase inhibitory factor 1; Enzyme biomarkers; Metabolism; Mitochondria; Reverse phase protein arrays; patients' survival.
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