Over 80 years ago, Otto Warburg discovered the phenomena of aerobic glycolysis, known now as the Warburg effect, whereby cancer cells relies on glycolysis, rather than the more efficient process of oxidative phosphorylation, for ATP production, even when oxygen is available. Recent progress in the field of cancer metabolism documents that alterations of many oncogenes, such as MYC, or tumor suppressor genes are involved in the metabolic switch of cancer cells to aerobic glycolysis. Myc was the first oncogenic transcription factor reported to regulate microRNAs (miRNAs), which are non-coding RNAs of ~22-nucleotides that act as post-Transcriptional regulators of gene expression. Hundreds of miRNAs have been identified in the human genome thus far that are estimated to regulate about 30% of human genes involved in diverse processes including development, cell differentiation, cell proliferation, apoptosis, and metabolism. In this chapter, I will review the characteristics of cancer metabolism and its molecular basis, with an emphasis on the interplay of miRNAs and oncogenes/tumor suppressors in the field. It is hoped that understanding of molecular basis of cancer metabolism, including the involvement of miRNAs, will provide new and powerful strategies to target this deadly disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology