Organization of enzyme concentration across the metabolic network in cancer cells.
Rapid advances in mass spectrometry have allowed for estimates of absolute concentrations across entire proteomes, permitting the interrogation of many important biological questions. Here, we focus on a quantitative aspect of human cancer cell metabolism that has been limited by a paucity of available data on the abundance of metabolic enzymes. We integrate data from recent measurements of absolute protein concentration to analyze the statistics of protein abundance across the human metabolic network. At a global level, we find that the enzymes in glycolysis comprise approximately half of the total amount of metabolic proteins and can constitute up to 10% of the entire proteome. We then use this analysis to investigate several outstanding problems in cancer metabolism, including the diversion of glycolytic flux for biosynthesis, the relative contribution of nitrogen assimilating pathways, and the origin of cellular redox potential. We find many consistencies with current models, identify several inconsistencies, and find generalities that extend beyond current understanding. Together our results demonstrate that a relatively simple analysis of the abundance of metabolic enzymes was able to reveal many insights into the organization of the human cancer cell metabolic network.
Madhukar, NS; Warmoes, MO; Locasale, JW
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