Socioeconomic and environmental influences are established factors promoting cancer disparity, but the contribution of biologic factors is not clear. We report a mechanistic link between carbohydrate-derived metabolites and cancer that may provide a biologic consequence of established factors of cancer disparity. Glycation is the nonenzymatic glycosylation of carbohydrates to macromolecules, which produces reactive metabolites called advanced glycation end products (AGE). A sedentary lifestyle and poor diet all promote disease and the AGE accumulation pool in our bodies and also increase cancer risk. We examined AGE metabolites in clinical specimens of African American and European American patients with prostate cancer and found a higher AGE concentration in these specimens among African American patients when compared with European American patients. Elevated AGE levels corresponded with expression of the receptor for AGE (RAGE or AGER). We show that AGE-mediated increases in cancer-associated processes are dependent upon RAGE. Aberrant AGE accumulation may represent a metabolic susceptibility difference that contributes to cancer disparity.
Foster, D., Spruill, L., Walter, K. R., Nogueira, L. M., Fedarovich, H., Turner, R. Y., … Turner, D. P. (2014). AGE metabolites: A biomarker linked to cancer disparity? Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, 23(10), 2186–2191. https://doi.org/10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-0564