Metabolic reprogramming is a well described hallmark of cancer. Oncogenic stimuli and the microenvironment shape the metabolic phenotype of cancer cells, causing pathological modifications of carbohydrate, amino acid and lipid metabolism that support the uncontrolled growth and proliferation of cancer cells. Conversely, metabolic alterations in cancer can drive changes in genetic programs affecting cell proliferation and differentiation. In recent years, the role of non-coding RNAs in metabolic reprogramming in cancer has been extensively studied. Here, we review this topic, with a focus on glucose, glutamine, and lipid metabolism and point to some evidence that metabolic alterations occurring in cancer can drive changes in non-coding RNA expression, thus adding an additional level of complexity in the relationship between metabolism and genetic programs in cancer cells.
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