Phytometabolites are functional elements derived from plants and most of them exhibit
therapeutic characteristics such as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. Phytometabolites
exert their anti-cancer effect by targeting multiple signaling pathways. One of the remarkable
phenomena targeted by phytometabolites is the Warburg effect. The Warburg effect describes
the observation that cancer cells exhibit an increased rate of glycolysis and aberrant redox activity
compared to normal cells. This phenomenon promotes further cancer development and progression.
Recent observations revealed that some phytometabolites could target metabolic-related enzymes
(e.g. Hexokinase, Pyruvate kinase M2, HIF-1) in cancer cells, with little or no harm to normal cells.
Since hyper-proliferation of cancer cells is fueled by higher cellular metabolism, phytometabolites
targeting these metabolic pathways can create synergistic crosstalk with induced apoptotic pathways
and sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapeutic agents. In this review, we discuss phytometabolites
that target the Warburg effect and the underlying molecular mechanism that leads to tumor growth
Keywords: Cancer, glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, phytometabolites, redox activity, warburg effect.
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