Nearly a hundred years of scientific research has revealed a notable preference of cancer cells to utilize aerobic glycolysis rather than mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation for glucose-dependent ATP production, which is thought to be the root of tumor formation and growth. Glycolysis is a complex biochemical process that is mediated by multiple glycolytic genes. Besides regulating glucose metabolism, these genes are also suggested to possess various other functions related to cancer, including roles in cancer development and promotion, inhibition of apoptosis, cell cycle progression, and tumor metastasis. This article highlights the biological functions of glycolytic genes beyond their role in regulation of glycolysis and discusses their clinical implications, especially in regard to the use of glycolytic genes as biomarkers for early detection of cancer or as targets for novel anticancer treatments.
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Acknowledgments This review was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China, No. 2011CB504305; National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), No. 30930101 and 81161120410; and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation funded project, No. 2011M501300.
- Clinical use
- Glycolytic enzymes
- Multiple functions in cancers