Cellular metabolism

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Tumor cells display metabolic profiles that are remarkably distinct from their tissue of origin to ensure fulfillment of their higher bioenergetic/biosynthetic needs to support a rapid proliferation. The mechanisms underlying this metabolic reprogramming are divergent among tumors and are often regulated by oncogenes/tumor suppressors. 

Our research

We are mainly focusing on the following overarching topics:

  • Metabolic Adaptations to Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressors.
  • Metabolic Signal Transduction.
  • Metabolism in Cancer vs. Normal cells.
  • Metabolic Control of Epigenetics.
  • Metabolic Control of Responsiveness to Clinically relevant Anti-cancer Regimens.

To study these questions we employ a translational approach starting from primary patient material paralleled by studies to elucidate the molecular mechanisms in cancer cells, normal cells and cancer mouse models, with the ultimate goal of identifying novel drug targets and prognostic markers. 

Cellular metabolic - research group Norberg, description of research

We are assessing the above mentioned aims by an integrative approach consisting of metabolomics, proteomics and transcriptomics as well as various genetic, biochemical and molecular biological tools.  


We are collaborating with colleagues at Harvard Medical School (Boston, MA, USA) and several groups at the Karolinska Institute and The Royal Institute of Technology.

Selected publications

Glucose metabolism provide distinct prosurvival benefits to non-small cell lung carcinomas.
Wu R, Galan-Acosta L, Norberg E
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 2015 May;460(3):572-7

Degradation of HK2 by chaperone-mediated autophagy promotes metabolic catastrophe and cell death.
Xia H, Najafov A, Geng J, Galan-Acosta L, Han X, Guo Y, et al
J. Cell Biol. 2015 Aug;210(5):705-16

Changing appetites: the adaptive advantages of fuel choice.
Stanley I, Ribeiro S, Giménez-Cassina A, Norberg E, Danial N
Trends Cell Biol. 2014 Feb;24(2):118-27

Erik Norberg co-first author:
Metabolic signatures uncover distinct targets in molecular subsets of diffuse large B cell lymphoma.
Caro P, Kishan A, Norberg E, Stanley I, Chapuy B, Ficarro S, et al
Cancer Cell 2012 Oct;22(4):547-60

Critical role for hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated channel 2 in the AIF-mediated apoptosis.
Norberg E, Karlsson M, Korenovska O, Szydlowski S, Silberberg G, Uhlén P, et al
EMBO J. 2010 Nov;29(22):3869-78

Group members

Erik NorbergAssistant professor, Research team leader
Boxi ZhangPostdoc


Dominique Smith Master thesis student

Contact us

Assistant professor

Erik Norberg

Organizational unit: Norberg Erik group - Cellular metabolism
E-mail: erik.norberg@ki.se