Chronic inflammation is often associated with increased cancer frequency. Continuous exposure to reactive oxygen species, as at the site of chronic inflammation, can result in cells with increased antioxidant defense enzymes. In WEHI7.2 cells, overexpression of catalase or thioredoxin by transfection or selection of a cell population resistant to hydrogen peroxide has resulted in WEHI7.2 variants with altered glucose and energy metabolism. This metabolic change would favor survival in a tumor environment. We conclude that metabolic alterations, due to increased antioxidant enzyme expression, may underlie the increased tumorigenicity seen previously in the variants and contribute to the increased tumor risk associated with chronic inflammation.
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