Molecular aspects of the Warburg effect

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

Abstract

The Warburg effect is a quality of cancer cells which is so defining of them that it is considered an important emerging hallmark of disease. Discovered by Dr. Otto Warburg in the 1920s, it was not until the last decade that the importance of this phenomenon was more widely realised and exploited in medical research, and its future possibilities conceived, largely due to an increase in our understanding of cellular metabolism. The Warburg effect itself is an observed change in the metabolism of cancer cells, where they metabolise a much larger amount of glucose than normal cells, utilising aerobic glycolysis rather than oxidative phosphorylation. While aerobic glycolysis creates less ATP energy for the cell it creates metabolic products, which allows the tumour to increase its biomass, important for the growth of the tumour and its ability to metastasize. Although it is still unknown why this metabolic change occurs, it is driven, at least in part, by the actions of activated oncogenes, in particular HIF-1α, and suppression of tumour suppressor proteins, such as p53. This quality provides the basis for the cancer monitoring technique of positron emission tomography, and there are emerging drugs which take advantage of this change from normal cells for potential therapeutic benefits. For example, metabolic drugs such as the type II diabetes drug metformin are being investigated and trialled as tools to starve cancer cells of their large energy requirements. In this chapter we provide an outline of the molecular characteristics of the Warburg effect and discuss related potential therapeutic developments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMolecular Mechanisms and Physiology of Disease
Subtitle of host publicationImplications for Epigenetics and Health
EditorsNilanjana  Maulik, Tom  Karagiannis
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer
Pages371-382
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781493907069
ISBN (Print)9781493907052
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aerobic glycolysis
  • Cancer metabolism
  • Lactic acid
  • Mitochondria
  • Warburg effect

Cite this

Balding, E., Ververis, K., & Karagiannis, T. C. (2014). Molecular aspects of the Warburg effect. In N. Maulik, & T. Karagiannis (Eds.), Molecular Mechanisms and Physiology of Disease: Implications for Epigenetics and Health (pp. 371-382). New York: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-0706-9_13
Balding, Elba ; Ververis, Katherine ; Karagiannis, Tom C. / Molecular aspects of the Warburg effect. Molecular Mechanisms and Physiology of Disease: Implications for Epigenetics and Health. editor / Nilanjana  Maulik ; Tom  Karagiannis. New York : Springer, 2014. pp. 371-382
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Balding, E, Ververis, K & Karagiannis, TC 2014, Molecular aspects of the Warburg effect. in N Maulik & T Karagiannis (eds), Molecular Mechanisms and Physiology of Disease: Implications for Epigenetics and Health. Springer, New York, pp. 371-382. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-0706-9_13

Molecular aspects of the Warburg effect. / Balding, Elba; Ververis, Katherine; Karagiannis, Tom C.

Molecular Mechanisms and Physiology of Disease: Implications for Epigenetics and Health. ed. / Nilanjana  Maulik; Tom  Karagiannis. New York : Springer, 2014. p. 371-382.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

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Balding E, Ververis K, Karagiannis TC. Molecular aspects of the Warburg effect. In Maulik N, Karagiannis T, editors, Molecular Mechanisms and Physiology of Disease: Implications for Epigenetics and Health. New York: Springer. 2014. p. 371-382 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-0706-9_13