Like every living being, cells require energy to survive. For this purpose, cells break down complex molecules into simpler ones and synthesize important biomolecules from these substrates. Together, all of these reactions are termed as metabolism.
The result of metabolism is the production of ATP molecules which are also considered the Energy Currency of a cell. ATP molecules are required further by many biochemical processes in our body to carry out essential functions.
As Cancer cells rapidly grow, they have higher demand for energy as compared to normal cells. ATP is the energy currency of cell. It starts with a multi-step process known as glycolysis. Glycolysis uses 1 molecule of glucose to produce 2 molecules of ATP. The products of glycolysis are then subjected to oxidative decarboxylation which requires oxygen to generate further ATP. A total of 36 ATPs are generated from one glucose molecule
Since, only using Glycolysis is much simpler and rapid process to get ATP molecules without the need for oxygen, a lot of cancer cells who live in Hypoxic environment shift to it and grows.
Also, glycolysis generates substrates for protein and nucleotide formation which are used to make more cells. Glucose is an important substrate to produce ATP molecules, therefore with increase in ATP demand, glucose consumption rate also increases to meet energy needs of tumour. This phenomenon is known as the Warburg effect.
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