Focus on the glycerophosphocholine pathway in choline phospholipid metabolism of cancer

Kanchan Sonkar, Vinay Ayyappan, Caitlin M. Tressler, Oluwatobi Adelaja, Ruoqing Cai, Menglin Cheng, Kristine Glunde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Activated choline metabolism is a hallmark of carcinogenesis and tumor progression, which leads to elevated levels of phosphocholine and glycerophosphocholine in all types of cancer tested so far. Magnetic resonance spectroscopy applications have played a key role in detecting these elevated choline phospholipid metabolites. To date, the majority of cancer-related studies have focused on phosphocholine and the Kennedy pathway, which constitutes the biosynthesis pathway for membrane phosphatidylcholine. Fewer and more recent studies have reported on the importance of glycerophosphocholine in cancer. In this review article, we summarize the recent literature on glycerophosphocholine metabolism with respect to its cancer biology and its detection by magnetic resonance spectroscopy applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere4112
JournalNMR in biomedicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • MR spectroscopy (MRS) and spectroscopic imaging (MRSI) methods
  • applications: cellular and molecular cancer imaging
  • applications: metastases
  • cancer
  • cancer therapy responses
  • cancer: applications
  • methods and engineering: cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy


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