Metabolic regulation of ferroptosis in the tumor microenvironment

J Biol Chem. 2022 Mar;298(3):101617. doi: 10.1016/j.jbc.2022.101617. Epub 2022 Jan 21.


Ferroptosis is an iron-dependent, nonapoptotic form of regulated cell death triggered by impaired redox and antioxidant machinery and propagated by the accumulation of toxic lipid peroxides. A compendium of experimental studies suggests that ferroptosis is tumor-suppressive. Sensitivity or resistance to ferroptosis can be regulated by cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous metabolic mechanisms. This includes a role for ferroptosis that extends beyond the tumor cells themselves, mediated by components of the tumor microenvironment, including T cells and other immune cells. Herein, we review the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that promote the sensitivity of cancer cells to ferroptosis and conclude by describing approaches to harness the full utility of ferroptotic agents as therapeutic options for cancer therapy.

Keywords: cancer; ferroptosis; metabolism; tumor immunity; tumor microenvironment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Ferroptosis*
  • Humans
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Tumor Microenvironment


  • Antioxidants
  • Iron