Metabolic Flexibility Is a Determinant of Breast Cancer Heterogeneity and Progression.
Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), University of Montréal, Montréal, QC H3T 1J4, Canada.
Breast cancer progression is characterized by changes in cellular metabolism that contribute to enhanced tumour growth and adaptation to microenvironmental stresses. Metabolic changes within breast tumours are still poorly understood and are not as yet exploited for therapeutic intervention, in part due to a high level of metabolic heterogeneity within tumours. The metabolic profiles of breast cancer cells are flexible, providing dynamic switches in metabolic states to accommodate nutrient and energy demands and further aggravating the challenges of targeting metabolic dependencies in cancer. In this review, we discuss the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that contribute to metabolic heterogeneity of breast tumours. Next, we examine how metabolic flexibility, which contributes to the metabolic heterogeneity of breast tumours, can alter epigenetic landscapes and increase a variety of pro-tumorigenic functions. Finally, we highlight the difficulties in pharmacologically targeting the metabolic adaptations of breast tumours and provide an overview of possible strategies to sensitize heterogeneous breast tumours to the targeting of metabolic vulnerabilities.
Cancers (Basel) 2021;13(18).
Pubmed ID: 34572926