Acetyl-CoA: An interplay between metabolism and epigenetics in cancer
Due to its high mortality and severe economic burden, cancer has become one of the most difficult medical problems to solve today. As a key node in metabolism and the main producer of energy, acetyl-coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) plays an important role in the invasion and migration of cancer. In this review, we discuss metabolic pathways involving acetyl-CoA, the targeted therapy of cancer through acetyl-CoA metabolic pathways and the roles of epigenetic modifications in cancer. In particular, we emphasize that the metabolic pathway of acetyl-CoA exerts a great impact in cancer; this process is very different from normal cells due to the “Warburg effect”. The concentration of acetyl-CoA is increased in the mitochondria of cancer cells to provide ATP for survival, hindering the growth of normal cells. Therefore, it may be possible to explore new feasible and more effective treatments through the acetyl-CoA metabolic pathway. In addition, a growing number of studies have shown that abnormal epigenetic modifications have been shown to play contributing roles in cancer formation and development. In most cancers, acetyl-CoA mediated acetylation promotes the growth of cancer cells. Thus, acetylation biomarkers can also be detected and serve as potential cancer prediction and prognostic markers.