Deprive to kill: Glutamine closes the gate to anticancer monocarboxylic drugs

Simone Cardaci, Maria Rosa Ciriolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Killing properties of antitumor drugs can be enhanced by strategies targeting biochemical adaptations of cancer cells. Recently, we reported that depriving cancer cells of glutamine is a feasible approach to enhance antitumor effects of the alkylating analog of pyruvic acid, 3-bromopyruvate, which rely on the induction of autophagic cell death by metabolic-oxidative stress. 3-bromopyruvate chemopotentiation is the result of its increased intracellular uptake mediated by the monocarboxylate transporter 1, whose expression is post-transcriptionally increased upon glutamine withdrawal. Overall, our results identified the metabolic condition able to increase the selectivity of 3-bromopyruvate targets in neoplastic tissues, thereby providing a stage for its use in clinical settings for targeting malignancies and represent a proof of principle that modulation of glutamine availability can influence the delivery of monocarboxylic drugs into tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1830-1832
Number of pages3
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • 3-Bromopyruvate
  • Chemopotentiation
  • Glutamine deprivation
  • MCT-1
  • Metabolic oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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