Therapeutic targets and biomarkers identified in cancer choline phospholipid metabolism

Kristine Glunde, Natalie J. Serkova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


Choline phospholipid metabolism is altered in a wide variety of cancers. The choline metabolite profile of tumors and cancer cells is characterized by an elevation of phosphocholine and total choline-containing compounds. Noninvasive magnetic resonance spectroscopy can be used to detect this elevation as an endogenous biomarker of cancer, or as a predictive biomarker for monitoring tumor response to novel targeted therapies. The enzymes directly causing this elevation, such as choline kinase, phospholipase C and phospholipase D may provide molecular targets for anticancer therapies. Signal transduction pathways that are activated in cancers, such as those mediated by the receptor tyrosine kinases breakpoint cluster region-abelson (Bcr-Abl), c-KIT or epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), correlate with the alterations in choline phospholipid metabolism of cancers, and also offer molecular targets for specific anticancer therapies. This review summarizes recently discovered molecular targets in choline phospholipid metabolism and signal transduction pathways, which may lead to novel anticancer terapies potentially being monitored by magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1109-1123
Number of pages15
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Cancer
  • Choline
  • Inhibitor
  • Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • Metabolism
  • Pathway
  • Phospholipid
  • Signal transduction
  • Tyrosine kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology


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