Modulation of pentose phosphate pathway during cell cycle progression in human colon adenocarcinoma cell line HT29

Pedro Vizán, Gema Alcarraz-Vizán, Santiago Díaz-Moralli, Olga N. Solovjeva, Wilma M. Frederiks, Marta Cascante

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


Cell cycle regulation is dependent on multiple cellular and molecular events. Cell proliferation requires metabolic sources for the duplication of DNA and cell size. However, nucleotide reservoirs are not sufficient to support cell duplication and, therefore, biosynthetic pathways should be upregulated during cell cycle. Here, we reveal that glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) and transketolase (TKT), the 2 key enzymes of oxidative and nonoxidative branches of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), respectively, which is necessary for nucleotide synthesis, are enhanced during cell cycle progression of the human colon cancer cell line HT29. These enhanced enzyme activities coincide with an increased ratio of pentose monophosphate to hexose monophosphate pool during late G1 and S phase, suggesting a potential role for pentose phosphates in proliferating signaling. Isotopomeric analysis distribution of nucleotide ribose synthesized from 1,2-13C 2-glucose confirms the activation of the PPP during late G1 and S phase and reveals specific upregulation of the oxidative branch. Our data sustain the idea of a critical oxidative and nonoxidative balance in cancer cells, which is consistent with a late G1 metabolic check point. The distinctive modulation of these enzymes during cell cycle progression may represent a new strategy to inhibit proliferation in anticancer treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2789-2796
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell cycle progression
  • Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
  • Metabolic checkpoint
  • Metabolic isotopomer distribution analysis (MIDA)
  • Pentose phosphate pathway
  • Pentose phosphates
  • Transketolase


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