Serine metabolism is frequently dysregulated in cancers; however, the benefit that this confers to tumors remains controversial. In many cases, extracellular serine alone is sufficient to support cancer cell proliferation, whereas some cancer cells increase serine synthesis from glucose and require de novo serine synthesis even in the presence of abundant extracellular serine. Recent studies cast new light on the role of serine metabolism in cancer, suggesting that active serine synthesis might be required to facilitate amino acid transport, nucleotide synthesis, folate metabolism, and redox homeostasis in a manner that impacts cancer.
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