Aerobic glycolysis or the Warburg Effect (WE) is characterized by increased glucose uptake and incomplete oxidation to lactate. Although ubiquitous, the biological role of the WE remains controversial and whether glucose metabolism is functionally different during fully oxidative glycolysis or during the WE is unknown. To investigate this question, we evolved resistance to koningic acid (KA), a natural product shown to be a specific inhibitor of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), a rate-controlling glycolytic enzyme during the WE. We find that KA-resistant cells lose the WE but conduct glycolysis and surprisingly remain dependent on glucose and central carbon metabolism. Consequentially this altered state of glycolysis leads to differential metabolic activity and requirements including emergent activities in and dependencies on fatty acid metabolism. Together, these findings reveal that, contrary to some recent reports, aerobic glycolysis is a functionally distinct entity from conventional glucose metabolism and leads to distinct metabolic requirements and biological functions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)