Molecular Enzymology and Drug Targets

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Exploring the Role of Glycolysis in Cancer Metabolism: Implications for Targeted Therapies

Santu Singh*

Cancer metabolism has emerged as a key player in tumorigenesis and tumor progression, with altered metabolic pathways driving oncogenesis and supporting the high energy demands of cancer cells. Among these pathways, glycolysis, a process that converts glucose to pyruvate, plays a crucial role in providing ATP and biosynthetic intermediates for rapidly proliferating cancer cells. In this review, we explore the intricate interplay between glycolysis and cancer metabolism, focusing on how deregulation of glycolytic enzymes and transporters contributes to tumor growth and survival. Moreover, we delve into the underlying molecular mechanisms that promote the Warburg effect, a hallmark feature of cancer cells characterized by enhanced glycolysis even under normoxic conditions. Understanding these metabolic adaptations is essential for identifying potential therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. We discuss recent advances in targeting glycolysis as a strategy for cancer therapy, including small molecule inhibitors and gene therapies that aim to disrupt key glycolytic enzymes and transporters. Furthermore, we highlight the challenges and potential limitations of targeting glycolysis, such as the impact on normal cells and potential resistance mechanisms. In light of recent advancements in precision medicine, we examine the feasibility of exploiting cancer-specific metabolic vulnerabilities for developing personalized and targeted therapies. In conclusion, this review underscores the critical role of glycolysis in cancer metabolism and its potential implications for designing innovative and effective targeted therapies. A comprehensive understanding of the metabolic rewiring in cancer cells will pave the way for the development of novel treatment approaches that exploit the metabolic dependencies of cancer, offering new hope for patients with malignancies.


Glycolysis; Cancer metabolism; Tumorigenesis; Warburg effect; Oncogenesis

Published Date: 2023-08-31; Received Date: 2023-08-03