Metabolomic profiling for the identification of novel diagnostic markers in prostate cancer

Giuseppe Lucarelli, Monica Rutigliano, Vanessa Galleggiante, Andrea Giglio, Silvano Palazzo, Matteo Ferro, Cristiano Simone, Carlo Bettocchi, Michele Battaglia, Pasquale Ditonno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metabolomic profiling offers a powerful methodology for understanding the perturbations of biochemical systems occurring during a disease process. During neoplastic transformation, prostate cells undergo metabolic reprogramming to satisfy the demands of growth and proliferation. An early event in prostate cell transformation is the loss of capacity to accumulate zinc. This change is associated with a higher energy efficiency and increased lipid biosynthesis for cellular proliferation, membrane formation and cell signaling. Moreover, recent studies have shown that sarcosine, an N-methyl derivative of glycine, was significantly increased during disease progression from normal to localized to metastatic prostate cancer. Mapping the metabolomic profiles to their respective biochemical pathways showed an upregulation of androgen-induced protein synthesis, an increased amino acid metabolism and a perturbation of nitrogen breakdown pathways, along with high total choline-containing compounds and phosphocholine levels. In this review, the role of emerging biomarkers is summarized, based on the current understanding of the prostate cancer metabolome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1211-1224
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Molecular Diagnostics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2 2015


  • androgen receptor
  • biomarker
  • metabolomics
  • prostate cancer
  • sarcosine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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