Gatto F, Nielsen J
Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med 8 (1) 23-35 [2015-11-05; online 2015-11-05]
Even though aerobic glycolysis, or the Warburg effect, is arguably the most common trait of metabolic reprogramming in cancer, it is unobserved in certain tumor types. Systems biology advocates a global view on metabolism to dissect which traits are consistently reprogrammed in cancer, and hence likely to constitute an obligate step for the evolution of cancer cells. We refer to such traits as symmetric. Here, we review early systems biology studies that attempted to reveal symmetric traits in the metabolic reprogramming of cancer, discuss the symmetry of reprogramming of nucleotide metabolism, and outline the current limitations that, if unlocked, could elucidate whether symmetries in cancer metabolism may be claimed.