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Genetics Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 646193, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/646193
Research Article

Generalized Portrait of Cancer Metabolic Pathways Inferred from a List of Genes Overexpressed in Cancer

1Laboratory of Retinal Cell and Molecular Biology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
2National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20894, USA

Received 20 May 2014; Accepted 15 August 2014; Published 27 August 2014

Academic Editor: Elena Stepchenkova

Copyright © 2014 Eugenia Poliakov et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

More than half a century from postulated Warburg theory of cancer cells origin, a question of changed metabolism in cancer is again taking the central place. Generalized picture of cancer metabolism was replaced by analysis of signaling and oncogenes in each type of cancer for several decades. However, now empowered with wealth of knowledge about tumor suppressors, oncogenes, and signaling pathways, reprogramming of cellular metabolism (e.g., increased glycolysis to respiration ratio in cancer cells) reemerged as an important element of cancer progression. To analyze level of expression of various proteins including metabolic enzymes across various cancers we used dbEST and Unigene data. We delineated a list of genes that are overexpressed in different types of cancer. We also grouped overexpressed enzymes into KEGG pathways and analyzed adjacent pathways to describe enzymatic reactions that take place in cancer cells and to identify major players that are abundant in cancer protein machinery. Glycolysis/gluconeogenesis and oxidative phosphorylation are the most abundant pathways although several other pathways are enriched in genes from our list. Ubiquitously overexpressed genes could be marked as nonspecific cancer-associated genes when analyzing genes that are overexpressed in certain types of cancer. Thus the list of overexpressed genes may be a useful tool for cancer research.