Journal of Shanghai Jiao Tong University (Medical Science) ›› 2022, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (6): 825-832.doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1674-8115.2022.06.019

• Review • Previous Articles    

Research progress in the role of cancer stem cell metabolism in tumor development

ZHENG Shifan1(), MA Jiao2()   

  1. 1.Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China
    2.Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University College of Basic Medical Science, Shanghai 200025, China
  • Received:2022-03-02 Accepted:2022-06-01 Online:2022-06-28 Published:2022-08-19
  • Contact: MA Jiao;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(81700134);Research Based Learning Project of Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine in 2021(2021RBL-B-010)


The inability to fully eradicate cancer stem cells (CSCs) is considered to be a huge obstacle in tumor therapy. CSCs can be defined as a subpopulation of cells within heterogeneous tumors that have the potential for self-renewal and differentiation. They can also drive malignant behaviors, such as tumor initiation, resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and tumor relapse. Multiple aspects of CSCs have been studied, including specific cell surface markers, self-renewal pathways and epigenetic regulation. However, relatively little attention has yet been directed towards to the metabolism of CSCs. Based on the relevant research we currently know, here we review the properties of the energy and substance metabolism in CSCs, and we also discuss the role of CSCs in therapy resistance and tumor relapse from a metabolic perspective. In addition, we describe the linkage between CSCs metabolism and epigenetic regulation. Therefore, we highlight the huge therapeutic potential of targeting CSCs metabolism in tumor therapy.

Key words: cancer stem cell (CSC), metabolism, therapy resistance, tumor relapse, epigenetic regulation, tumor therapy

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