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Glutamine Addiction in Cancer Cells: A Review

Shaojuan Hu, Luodan Yang, Chongyun Wu, Chengyi Liu

Laboratory of Laser Sports Medicine, College of Physical Education and Sports Science, South China Normal University, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (mainland)

Med Sci Rev 2017; 4:13-19

DOI: 10.12659/MSRev.906071

Available online:

Published: 2017-08-11


ABSTRACT: When there is an adequate supply of nutrients, tumor cells will consume more fuel than needed. In contrast, a limited supply of nutrients will lead to metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells, allowing them to effectively metastasize and survive. Therefore, in cellular analyses, limiting the supply of nutrients to cancer cells may help elucidate the essential metabolic mechanisms affecting tumor growth. Glutamine is a nonessential amino acid that has roles in protein synthesis and cancer cell metabolism. In this review, we summarize the results of studies on the mechanisms of cancer cell addiction to glutamine to provide a theoretical basis for clinical treatment of cancers.

Keywords: Glutamate Synthase, Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms, Antineoplastic Agents