Profiling and targeting of cellular bioenergetics: Inhibition of pancreatic cancer cell proliferation

G. Cheng, J. Zielonka, D. McAllister, S. Tsai, M. B. Dwinell, B. Kalyanaraman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background:Targeting both mitochondrial bioenergetics and glycolysis pathway is an effective way to inhibit proliferation of tumour cells, including those that are resistant to conventional chemotherapeutics.Methods:In this study, using the Seahorse 96-well Extracellular Flux Analyzer, we mapped the two intrinsic cellular bioenergetic parameters, oxygen consumption rate and proton production rate in six different pancreatic cancer cell lines and determined their differential sensitivity to mitochondrial and glycolytic inhibitors.Results:There exists a very close relationship among intracellular bioenergetic parameters, depletion of ATP and anti-proliferative effects (inhibition of colony-forming ability) in pancreatic cancer cells derived from different genetic backgrounds treated with the glycolytic inhibitor, 2-deoxyglucose (2-DG). The most glycolytic pancreatic cancer cell line was exquisitely sensitive to 2-DG, whereas the least glycolytic pancreatic cancer cell was resistant to 2-DG. However, when combined with metformin, inhibitor of mitochondrial respiration and activator of AMP-activated protein kinase, 2-DG synergistically enhanced ATP depletion and inhibited cell proliferation even in poorly glycolytic, 2-DG-resistant pancreatic cancer cell line. Furthermore, treatment with conventional chemotherapeutic drugs (e.g., gemcitabine and doxorubicin) or COX-2 inhibitor, celecoxib, sensitised the cells to 2-DG treatment.Conclusions:Detailed profiling of cellular bioenergetics can provide new insight into the design of therapeutic strategies for inhibiting pancreatic cancer cell metabolism and proliferation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-93
Number of pages9
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 2-deoxyglucose
  • bioenergetics
  • cell proliferation
  • glycolysis
  • metformin
  • mitochondrial respiration
  • pancreatic cancer
  • targeted therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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