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Semin Cancer Biol. 2005 Aug;15(4):300-8.

Pyruvate kinase type M2 and its role in tumor growth and spreading.

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Institute of Biochemistry & Endocrinology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Giessen, Frankfurter Strasse 100, 35392 Giessen, Germany.


Proliferating cells and tumor cells in particular express the pyruvate kinase isoenzyme type M2 (M2-PK). Within the tumor metabolome M2-PK regulates the proportions of glucose carbons that are channelled to synthetic processes (inactive dimeric form) or used for glycolytic energy production (highly active tetrameric form, a component of the glycolytic enzyme complex). In tumor cells, the dimeric form of M2-PK (Tumor M2-PK) is always predominant. The dimerization is caused by direct interaction of M2-PK with certain oncoproteins. The switch between the tetrameric and dimeric form of M2-PK allows tumor cells to survive in environments with varying oxygen und nutrient supply.

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