The Pathway Of Cancer Cells Essay

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Cancer cells are characterized by unlimited cell growth, inefficient apoptosis and excessive anabolism. The process of becoming cancer cells includes gene activation, micro-environmental changes and metabolic reprogramming. All of which compound upon one another and lead the cancer cells to continue with their overwhelming growth and activity. Malignant cancer cells invade and destroy organ infrastructure and replace it with disorganized and damaging cells. (1) The metabolic preference of cancer cells is wide ranging with cervical and glioma cells maintaining a normal oxidative phosphorylation and others exhibiting the switch to glycolysis. (2) This metabolic switch exhibits the adaptation to environmental changes and the tumor’s energy needs and activity. Overall, the carcinogenic process that defines each malignant tumor determines the metabolic profile of the cells. For the purpose of examining the metabolic switch, this paper will focus primarily on the Warburg principle with only slight examination of other cancer cell metabolic profiles.

The Typical Cell Metabolism
In a typical cell, the mitochondria works to provide the cell with adequate energy (in the form of ATP) in a well organized system. This system takes the glucose from the body and through glycolysis breaks it down to pyruvate, releasing 2 ATP. The products of glycolysis then enter the mitochondria, and are decarboxylated and attached to coA. Acetyl-coA can then enter the Krebs’s cycle. The Krebs cycle is

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