Despite of the appreciation for the recent advance of anti-cancer therapy, the effect remains unsatisfactory. Since obesity and metabolic syndrome are strongly associated with cancers, there might be a common pathway underlying these disorders. Recently, sugar, particularly fructose, has emerged as a potential driving force to develop obesity and metabolic syndrome, and also associated with several types of cancers, suggesting that fructose might be a link between these disorders as fructose, as opposed to glucose, drives several pathways for cancer growth. A unique property of fructose is to produce uric acid which causes an imbalance favoring glycolysis over mitochondrial respiration, resembling the Warburg effect in cancer cells. Fructose also activates the pentose phosphate pathway, resulting in the synthesis of nucleotide and amino acid. Lactate production is also accelerated as an alternative energy while de novo lipogenesis links to energy supply and membrane formation for proliferating cells. Here, we discuss the role of fructose in several types of cancers and propose that blocking fructose metabolism could be an additional therapy to alleviate the cancer growth.
Takahiko Nakagawa, Miguel A. Lanaspa, Ana Andres-Hernando, Hideto Kojima and Richard J. Johnson