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      Polymeric ligands comprising sulfur-containing amino acids for targeting tumor-associated amino acid transporters

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          Amino acids in cancer

          Over 90 years ago, Otto Warburg’s seminal discovery of aerobic glycolysis established metabolic reprogramming as one of the first distinguishing characteristics of cancer1. The field of cancer metabolism subsequently revealed additional metabolic alterations in cancer by focusing on central carbon metabolism, including the citric acid cycle and pentose phosphate pathway. Recent reports have, however, uncovered substantial non-carbon metabolism contributions to cancer cell viability and growth. Amino acids, nutrients vital to the survival of all cell types, experience reprogrammed metabolism in cancer. This review outlines the diverse roles of amino acids within the tumor and in the tumor microenvironment. Beyond their role in biosynthesis, they serve as energy sources and help maintain redox balance. In addition, amino acid derivatives contribute to epigenetic regulation and immune responses linked to tumorigenesis and metastasis. Furthermore, in discussing the transporters and transaminases that mediate amino acid uptake and synthesis, we identify potential metabolic liabilities as targets for therapeutic intervention.
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            Amino Acid transporters in cancer and their relevance to "glutamine addiction": novel targets for the design of a new class of anticancer drugs.

            Tumor cells have an increased demand for amino acids because of their rapid proliferation rate. In addition to their need in protein synthesis, several amino acids have other roles in supporting cancer growth. There are approximately two-dozen amino acid transporters in humans, and tumor cells must upregulate one or more of these transporters to satisfy their demand for amino acids. If the transporters that specifically serve this purpose in tumor cells are identified, they can be targeted for the development of a brand new class of anticancer drugs; the logical basis of such a strategy would be to starve the tumor cells of an important class of nutrients. To date, four amino acid transporters have been found to be expressed at high levels in cancer: SLC1A5, SLC7A5, SLC7A11, and SLC6A14. Their induction occurs in a cancer type-specific manner with a direct or indirect involvement of the oncogene c-Myc. Further, these transporters are functionally coupled, thus maximizing their ability to promote cancer growth and chemoresistance. Progress has been made in preclinical studies, exploiting these transporters as drug targets in cancer therapy. These transporters also show promise in development of new tumor-imaging probes and in tumor-specific delivery of appropriately designed chemotherapeutic agents.
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              The SLC3 and SLC7 families of amino acid transporters.

              Amino acids are necessary for all living cells and organisms. Specialized transporters mediate the transfer of amino acids across plasma membranes. Malfunction of these proteins can affect whole-body homoeostasis giving raise to diverse human diseases. Here, we review the main features of the SLC3 and SLC7 families of amino acid transporters. The SLC7 family is divided into two subfamilies, the cationic amino acid transporters (CATs), and the L-type amino acid transporters (LATs). The latter are the light or catalytic subunits of the heteromeric amino acid transporters (HATs), which are associated by a disulfide bridge with the heavy subunits 4F2hc or rBAT. These two subunits are glycoproteins and form the SLC3 family. Most CAT subfamily members were functionally characterized and shown to function as facilitated diffusers mediating the entry and efflux of cationic amino acids. In certain cells, CATs play an important role in the delivery of L-arginine for the synthesis of nitric oxide. HATs are mostly exchangers with a broad spectrum of substrates and are crucial in renal and intestinal re-absorption and cell redox balance. Furthermore, the role of the HAT 4F2hc/LAT1 in tumor growth and the application of LAT1 inhibitors and PET tracers for reduction of tumor progression and imaging of tumors are discussed. Finally, we describe the link between specific mutations in HATs and the primary inherited aminoacidurias, cystinuria and lysinuric protein intolerance. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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                Author and article information

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                Journal
                Biomaterials
                Biomaterials
                Elsevier BV
                01429612
                February 2023
                February 2023
                : 293
                : 121987
                Article
                10.1016/j.biomaterials.2022.121987
                014b7afd-6e49-4efe-adca-d6c9c8593f5d
                © 2023

                https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/

                http://www.elsevier.com/open-access/userlicense/1.0/

                https://doi.org/10.15223/policy-017

                https://doi.org/10.15223/policy-037

                https://doi.org/10.15223/policy-012

                https://doi.org/10.15223/policy-029

                https://doi.org/10.15223/policy-004

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