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Nat Rev Cancer. 2008 Sep;8(9):705-13. doi: 10.1038/nrc2468.

Hypoxia, HIF1 and glucose metabolism in the solid tumour.

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  • 1Division of Radiation and Cancer Biology, Department of Radiation Oncology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305, USA.


It has been known for many years that cellular metabolism within the solid tumour is markedly different from that of the corresponding normal tissue. The transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF1) has been implicated in regulating many of the genes that are responsible for the metabolic difference. However, it remains unclear how this 'aerobic glycolysis', originally described by Otto Warburg, offers tumour cells a growth advantage. As discussed in this Perspective, new data suggests that this metabolic switch may provide a benefit to the tumour not by increasing glycolysis but by decreasing mitochondrial activity.

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