A New Perspective on the Heterogeneity of Cancer Glycolysis



Tumors are dynamic metabolic systems which highly augmented metabolic fluxes and nutrient needs to support cellular proliferation and physiological function. For many years, a central hallmark of tumor metabolism has emphasized a uniformly elevated aerobic glycolysis as a critical feature of tumorigenecity. This led to extensive efforts of targeting glycolysis in human cancers. However, clinical attempts to target glycolysis and glucose metabolism have proven to be challenging. Recent advancements revealing a high degree of metabolic heterogeneity and plasticity embedded among various human cancers may paint a new picture of metabolic targeting for cancer therapies with a renewed interest in glucose metabolism. In this review, we will discuss diverse oncogenic and molecular alterations that drive distinct and heterogeneous glucose metabolism in cancers. We will also discuss a new perspective on how aberrantly altered glycolysis in response to oncogenic signaling is further influenced and remodeled by dynamic metabolic interaction with surrounding tumor-associated stromal cells.



Cancer, Glycolysis, Metabolism, Stromal Cells, Tumor Microenvironment


"Our original work is partially supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institute of Health (NIH), CA208746 and American Lung Association, LCD-400239."


CC BY-NC 4.0/ (Attribution-NonCommercial), ©2018 The Korean Society of Applied Pharmacology