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J Cell Physiol. 2019 Aug;234(10):17023-17049. doi: 10.1002/jcp.28436. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Role of SCFAs in gut microbiome and glycolysis for colorectal cancer therapy.

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Department of Pharmaceutics, Shanghai Eighth People's Hospital, Jiangsu University, Shanghai, China.
Department of Medicine, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu, China.
Information Resources Department, Hubei University of Medicine, Shiyan, Hubei, China.


Increased risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) is associated with altered intestinal microbiota as well as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) reduction of output The energy source of colon cells relies mainly on three SCFAs, namely butyrate (BT), propionate, and acetate, while CRC transformed cells rely mainly on aerobic glycolysis to provide energy. This review summarizes recent research results for dysregulated glucose metabolism of SCFAs, which could be initiated by gut microbiome of CRC. Moreover, the relationship between SCFA transporters and glycolysis, which may correlate with the initiation and progression of CRC, are also discussed. Additionally, this review explores the linkage of BT to transport of SCFAs expressions between normal and cancerous colonocyte cell growth for tumorigenesis inhibition in CRC. Furthermore, the link between gut microbiota and SCFAs in the metabolism of CRC, in addition, the proteins and genes related to SCFAs-mediated signaling pathways, coupled with their correlation with the initiation and progression of CRC are also discussed. Therefore, targeting the SCFA transporters to regulate lactate generation and export of BT, as well as applying SCFAs or gut microbiota and natural compounds for chemoprevention may be clinically useful for CRCs treatment. Future research should focus on the combination these therapeutic agents with metabolic inhibitors to effectively target the tumor SCFAs and regulate the bacterial ecology for activation of potent anticancer effect, which may provide more effective application prospect for CRC therapy.


SCFAs; colorectal cancers; glycolysis; gut microbiota; therapy


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