Under stressed conditions that increase cell demands on purines, all enzymes in the de novo purine synthesis (DNPS) pathway cluster to form purinosomes. Despite discovered 15 years ago, the mechanism of purinosome assembly remains obscure, which impedes specific dissection of its pathophysiological functions. A team led by Distinguished Research Fellow Ruey-Hwa Chen at the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica has identified the first purinosome assembly mechanism and elucidated the dependence of cancer cells on purinosome formation for their proliferation and survival. Current research on cancer metabolism has mainly focused on the reprogramming of metabolic pathways. The discovery of a key role of purinosome formation in cancer progression has opened a new avenue for studying cancer metabolism. The research uncovers the impacts of metabolic enzyme compartmentalization on human malignancies and highlights a potential of purinosome targeting as an anti-cancer strategy. This study has been published in Molecular Cell on October 16.