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Glucose Metabolism in Pancreatic Cancer

Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Department of Translational Molecular Pathology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cancers 2019, 11(10), 1460;
Received: 12 August 2019 / Revised: 25 September 2019 / Accepted: 25 September 2019 / Published: 29 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metabolic Reprogramming and Vulnerabilities in Cancer)
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive and lethal cancers, with a five-year survival rate of around 5% to 8%. To date, very few available drugs have been successfully used to treat PDAC due to the poor understanding of the tumor-specific features. One of the hallmarks of pancreatic cancer cells is the deregulated cellular energetics characterized by the “Warburg effect”. It has been known for decades that cancer cells have a dramatically increased glycolytic flux even in the presence of oxygen and normal mitochondrial function. Glycolytic flux is the central carbon metabolism process in all cells, which not only produces adenosine triphosphate (ATP) but also provides biomass for anabolic processes that support cell proliferation. Expression levels of glucose transporters and rate-limiting enzymes regulate the rate of glycolytic flux. Intermediates that branch out from glycolysis are responsible for redox homeostasis, glycosylation, and biosynthesis. Beyond enhanced glycolytic flux, pancreatic cancer cells activate nutrient salvage pathways, which includes autophagy and micropinocytosis, from which the generated sugars, amino acids, and fatty acids are used to buffer the stresses induced by nutrient deprivation. Further, PDAC is characterized by extensive metabolic crosstalk between tumor cells and cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME). In this review, we will give an overview on recent progresses made in understanding glucose metabolism-related deregulations in PDAC. View Full-Text
Keywords: glucose metabolism; pancreatic cancer glucose metabolism; pancreatic cancer
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Yan, L.; Raj, P.; Yao, W.; Ying, H. Glucose Metabolism in Pancreatic Cancer. Cancers 2019, 11, 1460.

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