Targeting glycolysis in non-small cell lung cancer: Promises and challenges
Metabolic disturbance, particularly of glucose metabolism, is a hallmark of tumors such as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Cancer cells tend to reprogram a majority of glucose metabolism reactions into glycolysis, even in oxygen-rich environments. Although glycolysis is not an efficient means of ATP production compared to oxidative phosphorylation, the inhibition of tumor glycolysis directly impedes cell survival and growth. This review focuses on research advances in glycolysis in NSCLC and systematically provides an overview of the key enzymes, biomarkers, non-coding RNAs, and signaling pathways that modulate the glycolysis process and, consequently, tumor growth and metastasis in NSCLC. Current medications, therapeutic approaches, and natural products that affect glycolysis in NSCLC are also summarized. We found that the identification of appropriate targets and biomarkers in glycolysis, specifically for NSCLC treatment, is still a challenge at present. However, LDHB, PDK1, MCT2, GLUT1, and PFKM might be promising targets in the treatment of NSCLC or its specific subtypes, and DPPA4, NQO1, GAPDH/MT-CO1, PGC-1α, OTUB2, ISLR, Barx2, OTUB2, and RFP180 might be prognostic predictors of NSCLC. In addition, natural products may serve as promising therapeutic approaches targeting multiple steps in glycolysis metabolism, since natural products always present multi-target properties. The development of metabolic intervention that targets glycolysis, alone or in combination with current therapy, is a potential therapeutic approach in NSCLC treatment. The aim of this review is to describe research patterns and interests concerning the metabolic treatment of NSCLC.