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Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2012 Nov;23(11):560-6. doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2012.06.010. Epub 2012 Jul 21.

Emerging roles of PKM2 in cell metabolism and cancer progression.

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Vascular Program, Institute for Cell Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Increased conversion of glucose to lactate is a key feature of many cancer cells that promotes rapid growth. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) expression is increased and facilitates lactate production in cancer cells. Modulation of PKM2 catalytic activity also regulates the synthesis of DNA and lipids that are required for cell proliferation, and of NADPH that is required for redox homeostasis. In addition to its role as a pyruvate kinase, PKM2 also functions as a protein kinase and as a transcriptional coactivator. These biochemical activities are controlled by allosteric regulators and post-translational modifications of PKM2 that include acetylation, oxidation, phosphorylation, prolyl hydroxylation, and sumoylation. Given its pleiotropic effects on cancer biology, PKM2 represents an attractive target for cancer therapy.

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