The Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle Metabolites for Cancer: Friend or Enemy

Research (Wash D C). 2024 Jun 12:7:0351. doi: 10.34133/research.0351. eCollection 2024.


The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle is capable of providing sufficient energy for the physiological activities under aerobic conditions. Although tumor metabolic reprogramming places aerobic glycolysis in a dominant position, the TCA cycle remains indispensable for tumor cells as a hub for the metabolic linkage and interconversion of glucose, lipids, and certain amino acids. TCA intermediates such as citrate, α-ketoglutarate, succinate, and fumarate are altered in tumors, and they regulate the tumor metabolism, signal transduction, and immune environment to affect tumorigenesis and tumor progression. This article provides a comprehensive review of the modifications occurring in tumor cells in relation to the intermediates of the TCA cycle, which affects tumor pathogenesis and current therapeutic strategy for therapy through targeting TCA cycle in cancer cells.

Publication types

  • Review