Collaborative study reveals details of alternative splicing circuitry that promotes cancer’s Warburg effect:
NCI Cancer Center News
Cancer cells maintain their life-style of extremely rapid growth and proliferation thanks to an enzyme called PK-M2 (pyruvate kinase M2) that alters the cells’ ability to metabolize glucose – a phenomenon known as the Warburg effect. A team at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which seeks to reverse this effect and force cancer cells to regain the metabolism of normal cells, have discovered details of molecular events that cause cancer cells to produce PK-M2 instead of its harmless counterpart, an isoform called PK-M1. The study, performed in collaboration with colleagues at Harvard Medical School and The Koch Institute, in Cambridge, Mass, appears on November 1 in the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology.
Among the research institutions NCI funds across the United States, it currently designates 66 as Cancer Centers. Largely based in research universities, these facilities are home to many of the NCI-supported scientists who conduct a wide range of intense, laboratory research into cancer’s origins and development. The Cancer Centers Program also focuses on trans-disciplinary research, including population science and clinical research. The centers’ research results are often at the forefront of studies in the cancer field.