Rapidly dividing cancer cells require the amino acid glycine, report researchers from Harvard Medical School and their colleagues (Jain M et al. Science. 2012;336:1040-1044). Rapidly proliferating noncancerous cells did not show this reliance, suggesting that inhibiting cells' ability to take up or metabolize glycine may be an effective anticancer strategy.
The researchers grew a panel of 60 cancer cell lines, used mass spectrometry to measure the cells' consumption and release of more than 200 metabolites, and integrated these measurements with a preexisting atlas of gene expression.
Hampton T. Cancer Cells’ Reliance on Glycine. JAMA. 2012;308(1):21. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.7375