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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Metabolomics by proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the response to chloroethylnitrosourea reveals drug efficacy and tumor adaptive metabolic pathways.

Metabolomics of tumors may allow discovery of tumor biomarkers and metabolic therapeutic targets. Metabolomics by two-dimensional proton high-resolution magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy was applied to investigate metabolite disorders following treatment by chloroethylnitrosourea of murine B16 melanoma (n = 33) and 3LL pulmonary carcinoma (n = 31) in vivo. Treated tumors of both types resumed growth after a delay. Nitrosoureas provoke DNA damage but the metabolic consequences of genotoxic stress are little known yet. Although some differences were observed in the metabolite profile of untreated tumor types, the prominent metabolic features of the response to nitrosourea were common to both. During the growth inhibition phase, there was an accumulation of glucose (more than x10; P < 0.05), glutamine (x3 to 4; P < 0.01), and aspartate (x2 to 5; P < 0.01). This response testified to nucleoside de novo synthesis down-regulation and drug efficacy. However, this phase also involved the increase in alanine (P < 0.001 in B16 melanoma), the decrease in succinate (P < 0.001), and the accumulation of serine-derived metabolites (glycine, phosphoethanolamine, and formate; P < 0.01). This response witnessed the activation of pathways implicated in energy production and resumption of nucleotide de novo synthesis, thus metabolic pathways of DNA repair and adaptation to treatment. During the growth recovery phase, it remained polyunsaturated fatty acid accumulation (x1.5 to 2; P < 0.05) and reduced utilization of glucose compared with glutamine (P < 0.05), a metabolic fingerprint of adaptation. Thus, this study provides the proof of principle that metabolomics of tumor response to an anticancer agent may help discover metabolic pathways of drug efficacy and adaptation to treatment.[1]


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