Putting the Squeeze on Tumor Energy Production

A time-tested method to identify and disrupt criminal activity is to “follow the money” since the illicit proceeds from crime are required to underwrite it. By analogy, strategies to target cancer involve following and disrupting the flow of ATP and NADH, the energetic and redox “currencies” of the cell, respectively, since the tumor requires high levels of ATP and NADH, not only for metastasis and proliferation, but also, on a more basic level, for survival. Accordingly, four broad ATP reduction strategies to impact and potentially derail cancer energy production are highlighted herein: 1) small molecule energy-restriction mimetic agents (ERMAs) that target various aspects of energy metabolism, 2) reduction of energy ‘subsidization’ with autophagy inhibitors, 3) acceleration of ATP turnover to increase energy inefficiency, and 4) dietary energy restriction to limit the energy supply.

The article outlines several compounds (many that have been outlined here) that can be exploited to upset the tumor “economy” and bring about therapeutic benefit.

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