Dual role of N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate metabolism in cancer monitor and therapy

Ryoichi Asaka, Quy Hoa Le Thi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We uncovered the neurotransmitter N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (NAAG) as a reservoir providing glutamate to promote cancer growth, and demonstrated that inhibition of NAAG hydrolysis by targeting glutamate carboxypeptidase II is a viable strategy for cancer therapy. Our study also suggests that NAAG concentration in plasma could be a non-invasive measurement to monitor cancer progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalMolecular and Cellular Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019



  • glutamate carboxypeptidase II (GCPII)
  • glutamate reservoir
  • glutaminase inhibitor
  • N-acetyl-aspartyl-glutamate (NAAG)
  • stable isotope-resolved metabolomics (SIRM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cancer Research

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