Untangling the metabolic reprogramming in brain cancer: Discovering key molecular players using mass spectrometry

Anatoly Sorokin, Vsevolod Shurkhay, Stanislav Pekov, Evgeny Zhvansky, Daniil Ivanov, Eugene E. Kulikov, Igor Popov, Alexander Potapov, Eugene Nikolaev

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Cells metabolism alteration is the new hallmark of cancer, as well as an important method for carcinogenesis investigation. It is well known that the malignant cells switch to aerobic glycolysis pathway occurring also in healthy proliferating cells. Recently, it was shown that in malignant cells de novo synthesis of the intracellular fatty acid replaces dietary fatty acids which change the lipid composition of cancer cells noticeably. These alterations in energy metabolism and structural lipid production explain the high proliferation rate of malignant tissues. However, metabolic reprogramming affects not only lipid metabolism but many of the metabolic pathways in the cell. 2-hydroxyglutarate was considered as cancer cell biomarker and its presence is associated with oxidative stress influencing the mitochondria functions. Among the variety of metabolite detection methods, mass spectrometry stands out as the most effective method for simultaneous identification and quantification of the metabolites. As the metabolic reprogramming is tightly connected with epigenetics and signaling modifications, the evaluation of metabolite alterations in cells is a promising approach to investigate the carcinogenesis which is necessary for improving current diagnostic capabilities and therapeutic capabilities. In this paper, we overview recent studies on metabolic alteration and oncometabolites, especially concerning brain cancer and mass spectrometry approaches which are now in use for the investigation of the metabolic pathway.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1521-1534
    Number of pages14
    JournalCurrent Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
    Issue number17
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • Brain cancer
    • Lipids
    • Mass spectrometry
    • Metabolic reprogramming
    • Metabolism
    • Oncometabolites


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