UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (UGDH) in clinical oncology and cancer biology

Meghan J. Price, Annee D. Nguyen, Jovita K. Byemerwa, Jasmine Flowers, César D. Baëta and C. Rory Goodwin _

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Oncotarget. 2023; 14:843-857. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.28514

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Meghan J. Price1, Annee D. Nguyen2, Jovita K. Byemerwa3, Jasmine Flowers4, César D. Baëta5 and C. Rory Goodwin6

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA

2 Department of Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA

3 Department of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA

4 Department of Neurosurgery, Associated with Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA

5 Department of Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

6 Department of Neurosurgery, Duke Center for Brain and Spine Metastasis and Duke Cancer Institute, Durham, NC 27710, USA

Correspondence to:

C. Rory Goodwin, email: [email protected]

Keywords: UDP-6 glucose dehydrogenase; UGDH; cancer; oncology; cancer biology

Received: August 02, 2023     Accepted: September 04, 2023     Published: September 28, 2023

Copyright: © 2023 Price et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


UDP-glucose-6-dehydrogenase (UGDH) is a cytosolic, hexameric enzyme that converts UDP-glucose to UDP-glucuronic acid (UDP-GlcUA), a key reaction in hormone and xenobiotic metabolism and in the production of extracellular matrix precursors. In this review, we classify UGDH as a molecular indicator of tumor progression in multiple cancer types, describe its involvement in key canonical cancer signaling pathways, and identify methods to inhibit UGDH, its substrates, and its downstream products. As such, we position UGDH as an enzyme to be exploited as a potential prognostication marker in oncology and a therapeutic target in cancer biology.

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