Adenylate kinase (AK)-catalyzed phosphotransfer is essential in the maintenance of cellular energetic economy in cells of fully differentiated tissues with highly variable energy demand, such as muscle and brain. To investigate if AK isoenzymes have a comparable function in the energy-demand management of proliferating cells, AK1 and AK1β were expressed in mouse neuroblastoma N2a cells and in human colon carcinoma SW480 cells. Glucose deprivation, galactose feeding, and metabolic inhibitor tests revealed a differential energy dependency for these two cell lines. N2a cells showed a faster proliferation rate and strongest coupling to mitochondrial activity, SW480 proliferation was more dependent on glycolysis. Despite these differences, ectopic expression of AK1 or AK1β did not affect their growth characteristics under normal conditions. Also, no differential effects were seen under metabolic stress upon treatment with mitochondrial and glycolytic inhibitors in in vitro culture or in solid tumors grown in vivo. Although many intimate connections have been revealed between cell death and metabolism, our results suggest that AK1- or AK1β-mediated high-energy phosphoryl transfer is not a modulating factor in the survival of tumor cells during episodes of metabolic crisis.