Wheat germ extract decreases glucose uptake and RNA ribose formation but increases fatty acid synthesis in MIA pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells

László G. Boros, Károly Lapis, B́la Szende, Rita Tömösközi-Farkas, Adám Balogh, Joan Boren, Silvia Marin, Marta Cascante, Mát́ Hidvégi

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The fermented wheat germ extract with standard benzoquinone composition has potent tumor propagation inhibitory properties. The authors show that this extract induces profound metabolic changes in cultured MIA pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells when the [1,2-13C2]glucose isotope is used as the single tracer with biologic gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. MIA cells treated with 0.1, 1, and 10 mg/mL wheat germ extract showed a dose-dependent decrease in cell glucose consumption, uptake of isotope into ribosomal RNA (2.4%, 9.4%, and 28.0%), and release of 13CO2. Conversely, direct glucose oxidation and ribose recycling in the pentose cycle showed a dose-dependent increase of 1.2%, 20.7%, and 93.4%. The newly synthesized fraction of cell palmitate and the 13C enrichment of acetyl units were also significantly increased with all doses of wheat germ extract. The fermented wheat germ extract controls tumor propagation primarily by regulating glucose carbon redistribution between cell proliferation-related and cell differentiation-related macromolecules. Wheat germ extract treatment is likely associated with the phosphorylation and transcriptional regulation of metabolic enzymes that are involved in glucose carbon redistribution between cell proliferation-related structural and functional macromolecules (RNA, DNA) and the direct oxidative degradation of glucose, which have devastating consequences for the proliferation and survival of pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells in culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-147
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 9 2001



  • Avemar
  • Cell proliferation
  • Fermented wheat germ extract
  • Nonoxidative glucose metabolism
  • Pentose cycle
  • Ribose synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology

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