One of the most common and profound biochemical phenotypes of animal and human cancer cells is their ability to metabolize glucose at high rates, even under aerobic conditions. Such alterations lead to establishment of tumor-specific metabolic machinery that is sufficient for supporting the biosynthetic and energy requirements of the tumor cells for facilitating rapid tumor growth and adaptation to new metastatic niches. These changes entail rapid glycolysis by the tumor cells, shifting the flux of glucose from tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle to glycolysis, resulting in generation of vast amounts of lactate, which is then secreted outside the tumor cells. This phenomenon is also termed as Warburg effect, as originally described by Otto Warburg. Several oncogenes and tumor suppressors have been implicated in altering tumor cell metabolism in order to facilitate tumor growth and metastasis. MicroRNAs mediate fine-tuning of the cancer-associated glycolytic pathways either directly or at the level of oncogenes. This article intends to review the mechanisms and pathways by which miRNAs regulate the aerobic glycolysis in cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular and Cellular Pharmacology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011


  • Aerobic glycolysis
  • Cancer metabolism
  • MiRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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