Labeling cancer stem cells with 13C6 glucose and 13C5 glutamine for metabolic flux analysis

Kousik Kesh, Sulagna Banerjee

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cancer stem cells (CSCs) or tumor-initiating cells (TICs) are a population of cells present within tumor that have increased self-renewal, chemoresistance, and aggressiveness, thereby contributing to tumor relapse. Literature shows that CSCs or TICs typically originate within the hypoxic niches of the tumor, making hypoxia one of the driving factors for generation of this population. Hypoxic stress promotes adaptation to low oxygen tension in the tissues by altering metabolic properties of the CSCs. This leads to a number of altered enzymatic activities in the CSC population that further contribute to the survival of the CSCs leading to resistance to standard therapy. Hence, understanding this altered metabolic pathways as well as targeting key nodes in these may pave the way for cancer management. Glucose and glutamine are the major substrates utilized by cancer cells and feed into multiple biosynthetic pathways. Hence, labeling and tracking these compounds may reveal some novel metabolic pathways exploited by cancer stem cells to acquire survival advantage. In these current book chapters, we elaborately summarized the basic steps required for isolation, characterization, and metabolic labeling (13C6 glucose and 13C5 glutamine) of CSC for flux analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • CD133
  • Cancer stem cells
  • Hypoxia
  • Isotope labeling
  • Metabolic flux

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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