Metabolic Reprogramming and Oncogenesis: One Hallmark, Many Organelles.

11 Jan 2018

The process of tumorigenesis can be described by a series of molecular features, among which alteration of cellular metabolism has recently emerged. This metabolic rewiring fulfills the energy and biosynthetic demands of fast proliferating cancer cells and amplifies their metabolic repertoire to survive and proliferate in the poorly oxygenated and nutrient-deprived tumor microenvironment. During the last decade, the complex reprogramming of cancer cell metabolism has been widely investigated, revealing cancer-specific metabolic alterations. These include dysregulation of glucose and glutamine metabolism, alterations of lipid synthesis and oxidation, and a complex rewiring of mitochondrial function. However, mitochondria are not the only metabolically active organelles within the cell, and other organelles, including lysosomes, peroxisomes, and endoplasmic reticulum, harbor components of the metabolic network. Of note, dysregulation of the function of these organelles is increasingly recognized in cancer cells. However, to what extent these organelles contribute to the metabolic reprogramming of cancer is not fully understood. In this review, we describe the main metabolic functions of these organelles and provide insights into how they communicate to orchestrate a coordinated metabolic reprogramming during transformation.