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Cell Death Differ. 2009 Dec;16(12):1573-81. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2009.137. Epub 2009 Sep 25.

Novel roles for GAPDH in cell death and carcinogenesis.

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Department of Cell Death and Proliferation, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques de Barcelona, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and Liver Unit, Hospital Clinic i Provincial, Centro de Investigaciones Biomédicas Esther Koplowitz, and CIBEREHD, IDIBAPS, 08036-Barcelona, Spain.


Growing evidence points to the fact that glucose metabolism has a central role in carcinogenesis. Among the enzymes controlling this energy production pathway, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is of particular interest. Initially identified as a glycolytic enzyme and considered as a housekeeping gene, this enzyme is actually tightly regulated and is involved in numerous cellular functions. Particularly intriguing are recent reports describing GAPDH as a regulator of cell death. However, its role in cell death is unclear; whereas some studies point toward a proapoptotic function, others describe a protective role and suggest its participation in tumor progression. In this study, we highlight recent findings and discuss potential mechanisms through which cells regulate GAPDH to fulfill its diverse functions to influence cell fate.

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