As cancer is a genetic disease, methylation defines a biologically malignant phenotype of cancer in the association of one-carbon metabolism-dependent S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as a methyl donor in each cell. Methylated substances are involved in intracellular metabolism, but via intercellular communication, some of these can also be secreted to affect other substances. Although metabolic analysis at the single-cell level remains challenging, studying the “methylosystem” (i.e., the intercellular and intracellular communications of upstream regulatory factors and/or downstream effectors that affect the epigenetic mechanism involving the transfer of a methyl group from SAM onto the specific positions of nucleotides or other metabolites in the tumor microenvironment) and tracking these metabolic products are important research tasks for understanding spatial heterogeneity. Here, we discuss and highlight the involvement of RNA and nicotinamide, recently emerged targets, in SAM-producing one-carbon metabolism in cancer cells, cancer-associated fibroblasts, and immune cells. Their significance and implications will contribute to the discovery of efficient methods for the diagnosis of and therapeutic approaches to human cancer.
- Cancer-associated fibroblasts
- One-carbon metabolism
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research