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Lab Reports
July 4, 2012

Cancer Cells’ Reliance on Glycine

JAMA. 2012;308(1):21. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.7375

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[6084]: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.