At the forefront of cancer research is the rapidly evolving understanding of metabolic reprogramming within cancer cells. The expeditious adaptation to metabolic inhibition allows cells to evolve and acquire resistance to targeted treatments, which makes therapeutic exploitation complex but achievable. 3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) is the rate-limiting enzyme of de novo serine biosynthesis and is highly expressed in a variety of cancers, including breast cancer, melanoma, and Ewing’s sarcoma. This review will investigate the role of PHGDH in normal biological processes, leading to the role of PHGDH in the progression of cancer. With an understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which PHGDH expression advances cancer growth, we will highlight the known mechanisms of resistance to cancer therapeutics facilitated by PHGDH biology and identify avenues for combatting PHGDH-driven resistance with inhibitors of PHGDH to allow for the development of effective metabolic therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-774
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Drug Resistance
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2020


  • Cancer
  • Drug resistance
  • Folate cycle
  • Metabolism
  • One-carbon metabolism
  • Serine


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