Non-metabolic functions of glycolytic enzymes in tumorigenesis

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Cancer cells reprogram their metabolism to meet the requirement for survival and rapid growth. One hallmark of cancer metabolism is elevated aerobic glycolysis and reduced oxidative phosphorylation. Emerging evidence showed that most glycolytic enzymes are deregulated in cancer cells and play important roles in tumorigenesis. Recent studies revealed that all essential glycolytic enzymes can be translocated into nucleus where they participate in tumor progression independent of their canonical metabolic roles. These noncanonical functions include anti-apoptosis, regulation of epigenetic modifications, modulation of transcription factors and co-factors, extracellular cytokine, protein kinase activity and mTORC1 signaling pathway, suggesting that these multifaceted glycolytic enzymes not only function in canonical metabolism but also directly link metabolism to epigenetic and transcription programs implicated in tumorigenesis. These findings underscore our understanding about how tumor cells adapt to nutrient and fuel availability in the environment and most importantly, provide insights into development of cancer therapy.

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