Tariq Shah1, Jannie P. Wijnen1, Flonn Wildes1, Balaji Krishnamachary1, Kristine Glunde1, Zaver M. Bhujwalla1
1Division of Cancer Imaging Research, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, United States
An increase of total choline is a hallmark of cancer, largely driven by increased phosphocholine and phosphoethanolamine. While significant effort has been focused on the increased phosphocholine observed in cancer cells and tumors, increased phosphoethanolamine has been underexplored. Increased phosphocholine, but not phosphoethanolamine, is observed in cells in culture because culture medium contains free choline but not ethanolamine. Here we have demonstrated that breast cancer cells in culture have the ability to form phosphoethanolamine if ethanolamine is provided in the medium, that choline kinase alpha is capable of ethanolamine kinase activity, and its choline kinase activity is influenced by ethanolamine concentrations.