Changing perspective on oncometabolites: from metabolic signature of cancer to tumorigenic and immunosuppressive agents

Mauro Corrado, Luca Scorrano and Silvia Campello _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:46692-46706. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8727

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Mauro Corrado1,2, Luca Scorrano1,3 and Silvia Campello2,4

1 Dulbecco-Telethon Institute, Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine, Padova, Italy

2 IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia, Roma, Italy

3 Department of Biology, University of Padova, Padova, Italy

4 Department of Biology, University of Roma Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy

Correspondence to:

Silvia Campello, email:

Keywords: cancer, metabolism, immune response, lymphocytes

Received: January 18, 2016 Accepted: March 31, 2016 Published: April 13, 2016


During tumorigenesis, the shift from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis in ATP production accounts for the dramatic change in the cellular metabolism and represents one of the major steps leading to tumour formation. The so-called Warburg effect is currently considered something more than a mere modification in the cellular metabolism. The paradox that during cancer cell proliferation the increase in energy need is supplied by glycolysis can be only explained by taking into account the many roles that intermediates of glycolysis or TCA cycle play in cellular physiology, besides energy production. Recent studies have shown that metabolic intermediates induce changes in chromatin structure or drive neo-angiogenesis. In this review, we present some of the latest findings in the study of cancer metabolism with particular attention to how tumour metabolism and its microenvironment can favour tumour growth and aggressiveness, by hijacking and dampening the anti-tumoral immune response.

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