A number of cancer types have shown an increased prevalence and a higher mortality rate in patients with hyperglycemic associated pathologies. Although the correlation between diabetes and cancer incidence has been increasingly reported, the underlying molecular mechanisms beyond this association are not yet fully understood. Recent studies have suggested that high glucose levels support tumor progression through multiple mechanisms that are hallmarks of cancer, including cell proliferation, resistance to apoptosis, increased cell migration and invasiveness, epigenetic regulation (hyperglycemic memory), resistance to chemotherapy and altered metabolism. Most of the above occur because hyperglycemia through hexosamine biosynthetic pathway leads to aberrant O-GlcNAcylation of many intracellular proteins that are involved in those mechanisms. Deregulated O-GlcNAcylation is emerging as a general feature of cancer. Despite strong evidence suggesting that aberrant O-GlcNAcylation is or may be involved in the acquisition of all cancer hallmarks, it remains out of the list of the next generation of emerging hallmarks. Here, we discuss some of the current understanding on how hyperglycemia affects cancer cell biology and how aberrant O-GlcNAcylation stands in this context.
Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 11, 2018
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