Tumor metabolism: Cancer cells give and take lactate

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Tumors contain well-oxygenated (aerobic) and poorly oxygenated (hypoxic) regions, which were thought to utilize glucose for oxidative and glycolytic metabolism, respectively. In this issue of the JCI, Sonveaux et al. show that human cancer cells cultured under hypoxic conditions convert glucose to lactate and extrude it, whereas aerobic cancer cells take up lactate via monocarboxylate transporter 1 (MCT1) and utilize it for oxidative phosphorylation (see the related article, doi:10.1172/JCI36843). When MCT1 is inhibited, aerobic cancer cells take up glucose rather than lactate, and hypoxic cancer cells die due to glucose deprivation. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with an inhibitor of MCT1 retarded tumor growth. MCT1 expression was detected exclusively in nonhypoxic regions of human cancer biopsy samples, and in combination, these data suggest that MCT1 inhibition holds potential as a novel cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3835-3837
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume118
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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