Targeting tumor glycolysis by a mitotropic agent

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Metabolic reprogramming is one of the hallmarks of cancer. Altered metabolism in cancer cells is exemplified by enhanced glucose utilization, a biochemical signature that is clinically exploited for cancer diagnosis using positron-emission tomography and computed tomography imaging. Accordingly, disrupting the glucose metabolism of cancer cells has been contemplated as a potential therapeutic strategy against cancer. Experimental evidences indicate that targeting glucose metabolism by inhibition of glycolysis or oxidative phosphorylation promotes anticancer effects. Yet, successful clinical translation of antimetabolites or energy blockers to treat cancer remains a challenge, primarily due to lack of efficacy and/or systemic toxicity. Recently, using nanotechnology, Marrache and Dhar have documented the feasibility of delivering a glycolytic inhibitor through triphenylphosphonium (TPP), a mitotropic agent that selectively targets mitochondria based on membrane potential. Furthermore, by utilizing gold nanoparticles the investigators also demonstrated the potential for simultaneous induction of photothermal therapy, thus facilitating an additional line of attack on cancer cells. The report establishes that specific inhibition of tumor glycolysis is achievable through TPP-dependent selective targeting of cancer cells. This nanotechnological approach involving TPP-guided selective delivery of an antiglycolytic agent complemented with photothermal therapy provides a new window of opportunity for effective and specific targeting of tumor glycolysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalExpert opinion on therapeutic targets
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016


  • cancer metabolism
  • glycolysis
  • mitochondria
  • nanotechnology
  • triphenylphosphonium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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