Cancer is a metabolic disease in which abnormally proliferating cancer cells rewire metabolic pathways in the tumor microenvironment (TME). Molecular reprogramming in the TME helps cancer cells to fulfill elevated metabolic demands for bioenergetics and cellular biosynthesis. One of the ways through which cancer cell achieve this is by regulating the expression of metabolic enzymes. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is the primary metabolic enzyme that converts pyruvate to lactate and vice versa. LDH also plays a significant role in regulating nutrient exchange between tumor and stroma. Thus, targeting human lactate dehydrogenase for treating advanced carcinomas may be of benefit. LDHA and LDHB, two isoenzymes of LDH, participate in tumor stroma metabolic interaction and exchange of metabolic fuel and thus could serve as potential anticancer drug targets. This article reviews recent research discussing the roles of lactate dehydrogenase in cancer metabolism. As molecular regulation of LDHA
in different cancer remains obscure, we also review signaling pathways regulating LDHA
expression. We highlight on the role of small molecule inhibitors in targeting LDH activity and we emphasize the development of safer and more effective LDH inhibitors. We trust that this review will also generate interest in designing combination therapies based on LDH inhibition, with LDHA
being targeted in tumors and LDHB
in stromal cells for better treatment outcome.
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