Amino acid metabolism in cancer drug resistance

Hee Chan Yoo, Jung Min Han

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Despite the numerous investigations on resistance mechanisms, drug resistance in cancer therapies still limits favorable outcomes in cancer patients. The complexities of the inherent characteristics of tumors, such as tumor heterogeneity and the complicated interaction within the tumor microenvironment, still hinder efforts to overcome drug resistance in cancer cells, requiring innovative approaches. In this review, we describe recent studies offering evidence for the essential roles of amino acid metabolism in driving drug resistance in cancer cells. Amino acids support cancer cells in counteracting therapies by maintaining redox homeostasis, sustaining biosynthetic processes, regulating epigenetic modification, and providing metabolic intermediates for energy generation. In addition, amino acid metabolism impacts anticancer immune responses, creating an immunosuppressive or immunoeffective microenvironment. A comprehensive understanding of amino acid metabolism as it relates to therapeutic resistance mechanisms will improve anticancer therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation (NRF) of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science & ICT (MSIT) (2020R1A2C2099586, 2021R1C1C2006283) and the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program of the NRF funded by the MSIT (2020M3E5E2040282).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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