Targeting Key Transporters in Tumor Glycolysis as a Novel Anticancer Strategy

Author(s): Yunli Shi, Shengnan Liu, Shabir Ahmad, Qingzhi Gao*

Journal Name: Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 18 , Issue 6 , 2018

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Graphical Abstract:


Increased glycolysis has been one of the metabolic characteristics known as the Warburg effect. The functional and therapeutic importance of the Warburg effect in targeted therapy is scientifically recognized and the glucose metabolic pathway has become a desirable target of anticancer strategies. Glucose transporters (GLUTs) play an important role in cancer glycolysis to sustain cancer cell proliferation, metastasis and survival. Utilizing the knowledge of differential expression and biological functions of GLUTs offers us the possibility of designing and delivering chemotherapeutics toward targeted tumor tissues for improved cancer selectivity. Inhibition of glucose uptake or glycolysis may effectively kill hypoxic cancer cells. Facilitative drug uptake via active transportation provides the potential opportunity to circumvent the drug resistance in chemotherapy. GLUTs as the hallmarks and biotargets of cancer metabolism enable the design and development of novel targeted theranostic agents. In this updated review, we examine the current scenario of the GLUTs as strategic targets in cancer and the unique concepts for discovery and development of GLUTs-targeted anticancer agents. We highlight the recent progresses on structural biology and underlying mechanism studies of GLUTs, with a brief introduction to the computational approaches in GLUT-mediated drug transport and tumor targeting.

Keywords: Glucose transporters, Warburg effect, Drug design, Transport mechanism, Structural biology, Targeted therapy, Medicinal chemistry.

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Article Details

Year: 2018
Page: [454 - 466]
Pages: 13
DOI: 10.2174/1568026618666180523105234
Price: $65

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