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Mol Genet Metab. 2003 Jan;78(1):74-8.

Lithium detaches hexokinase from mitochondria and inhibits proliferation of B16 melanoma cells.

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Health Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900, Israel.


Glycolysis is known to be the primary energy source in cancer cells. Hexokinase (ATP: D-hexose 6-phosphotransferase, EC, the only glycolytic enzyme which binds to mitochondria, is exceptionally high in cancer cells, and believed to play a key role in regulating cell energy metabolism and cancer cell growth rate. We show here that lithium induces a detachment of hexokinase from mitochondria of B16 melanoma cells. This effect eventually leads to inhibition of cell proliferation. These results reveal a novel, additional, mechanism of action of lithium and suggest that lithium may be promising drug in treatment of melanoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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