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Metabolism Pathways In Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

U. Rozovski, Inbal Hazan-Halevy, M. Barzilai, M. Keating, Z. Estrov
Published 2016 · Medicine, Biology

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Abstract Alterations in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) cell metabolism have been studied by several investigators. Unlike normal B lymphocytes or other leukemia cells, CLL cells, like adipocytes, store lipids and utilize free fatty acids (FFA) to produce chemical energy. None of the recently identified mutations in CLL directly affects metabolic pathways, suggesting that genetic alterations do not directly contribute to CLL cells’ metabolic reprogramming. Conversely, recent data suggest that activation of STAT3 or downregulation of microRNA-125 levels plays a crucial role in the utilization of FFA to meet the CLL cells’ metabolic needs. STAT3, known to be constitutively activated in CLL, increases the levels of lipoprotein lipase (LPL) that mediates lipoprotein uptake and shifts the CLL cells’ metabolism towards utilization of FFA. Herein, we review the evidence for altered lipid metabolism, increased mitochondrial activity and formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in CLL cells, and discuss the possible therapeutic strategies to inhibit lipid metabolism pathways in patient with CLL.
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