A wide range of enzymes are known to be associated with breast cancer tissues. These enzymes include, aromatase and cyclooxygenases, metallopeptidases, 17beta-hydroxysytheroid dehydrogenase type I , Tousled-Like Kinase 2 among others.
Metabolic heterogeneity is as significant a factor in understanding TNBC as genomic heterogeneity is, which is strongly suggestive for a valuable role of metabolic profiling in the targeting of TNBC subtypes and identifying opportunities for both early diagnosis and therapy in TNBC patients.
The concept of metabolic reprogramming allows cancer cells to acquire metabolic properties that support cell survival, immune surveillance evasion and hyperplastic growth. There are tumors that lack recurrent mutations in tumor suppressors and oncogenes, but still maintain metabolic properties that distinguish them from non-malignant tissues .
Metabolic properties diverge as tumors grow and can result in significant metabolic heterogeneity in primary cancers. These divergent phenotypes reflect the effects of molecular heterogeneity on cancer cells, as well as variations in microenvironment.