Date: 18 Nov 2011

Unraveling the Complex Regulatory Relationships Between Metabolism and Signal Transduction in Cancer

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Abstract

Cancer cells exhibit an altered metabolic phenotype, known as the Warburg effect, which is characterized by high rates of glucose uptake and glycolysis, even under aerobic conditions. The Warburg effect appears to be an intrinsic component of most cancers and there is evidence linking cancer progression to mutations, translocations, and alternative splicing of genes that directly code for or have downstream effects on key metabolic enzymes. Many of the same signaling pathways are routinely dysregulated in cancer and a number of important oncogenic signaling pathways play important regulatory roles in central carbon metabolism. Unraveling the complex regulatory relationship between cancer metabolism and signaling requires the application of systems biology approaches. Here we discuss computational approaches for modeling protein signal transduction and metabolism as well as how the regulatory relationship between these two important cellular processes can be combined into hybrid models.