Reprogramming of energy metabolism is one of the hallmarks of cancer. Besides enhanced glycolysis glutamine is rapidly consumed by cancer cells and serves as a source of carbon and nitrogen donor for biomass accumulation. As a precursor of a-Ketoglutarate it is critical for replenishing the citric acid cycle and depicts the most important anaplerotic reaction. Inhibition of this metabolic pathway leads to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis of cancer cells and represents a promising strategy to constrain colon cancer growth.
Currently, we are applying several metabolomic approaches such as GC-MS analysis and radioactive tracer experiments in order to identify novel modulators interfering with glutamine metabolism in colon cancer cells.