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Cancer Res. 2013 Mar 15;73(6):1831-43. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-2460. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Proliferation-independent control of tumor glycolysis by PDGFR-mediated AKT activation.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Genetics, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.


The differences in glucose metabolism that distinguish most malignant and normal tissues have called attention to the importance of understanding the molecular mechanisms by which tumor energy metabolism is regulated. Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) pathways that are implicated in proliferation and transformation have been linked to several aspects of tumor glucose metabolism. However, the regulation of glycolysis has invariably been examined under conditions in which proliferation is concomitantly altered. To determine whether RTKs directly regulate glycolysis without prerequisite growth modulation, we first identified a specific RTK signaling pathway, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)/PDGF receptor (PDGFR) that regulates glycolysis in glioma-derived tumor stem-like cells from a novel mouse model. We determined that PDGF-regulated glycolysis occurs independent of PDGF-regulated proliferation but requires the activation of AKT, a known metabolic regulator in tumor. Our findings identifying a key characteristic of brain tumors, aerobic glycolysis, mediated by a pathway with multiple therapeutic targets suggests the possibility of inhibiting tumor energy metabolism while also treating with agents that target other pathways of pathologic significance.

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