Oxygen and Iron Availability Shapes Metabolic Adaptations of Cancer Cells

Rui Wang, Aashiq Hussain, Quan Quan Guo, Xiao Wei Jin, Miao Miao Wang


The dynamic changes between glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) output, along with glucose, glutamine, and fatty acid utilization, etc., lead to the maintenance and selection of growth advantageous to tumor cell subgroups in an environment of iron starvation and hypoxia. Iron plays an important role in the three major biochemical reactions in nature: photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, and oxidative respiration, which all require the participation of iron-sulfur proteins, such as ferredoxin, cytochrome b, and the complex I, II, III in the electron transport chain, respectively. Abnormal iron-sulfur cluster synthesis process or hypoxia will directly affect the function of mitochondrial electron transfer and mitochondrial OXPHOS. More research results have indicated that iron metabolism, oxygen availability and hypoxia-inducible factor mutually regulate the shift between glycolysis and OXPHOS. In this article, we make a perspective review to provide novel opinions of the regulation of glycolysis and OXPHOS in tumor cells.

World J Oncol. 2024;15(1):28-37
doi: https://doi.org/10.14740/wjon1739


Tumor; Glycolysis; OXPHOS; Iron; Metabolism; Oxygen

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