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Type of publication: Journal Article
Type of document: Mini-Review

Year: 2020

Authors: Atas, E; Oberhuber, M; Kenner, L

Title: The Implications of PDK1-4 on Tumor Energy Metabolism, Aggressiveness and Therapy Resistance.

Source: Front Oncol. 2020; 10:583217

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Kenner Lukas

Vetmed Research Units
Institute of Pathology, Pathology of Laboratory Animals

A metabolic shift from oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to glycolysis-known as the Warburg effect-is characteristic for many cancers. It gives the cancer cells a survival advantage in the hypoxic tumor microenvironment and protects them from cytotoxic effects of oxidative damage and apoptosis. The main regulators of this metabolic shift are the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase (PDK) isoforms 1-4. PDK is known to be overexpressed in several cancers and is associated with bad prognosis and therapy resistance. Whereas the expression of PDK1-3 is tissue specific, PDK4 expression is dependent on the energetic state of the whole organism. In contrast to other PDK isoforms, not only oncogenic, but also tumor suppressive functions of PDK4 have been reported. In tumors that profit from high OXPHOS and high de novo fatty acid synthesis, PDK4 can have a protective effect. This is the case for prostate cancer, the most common cancer in men, and makes PDK4 an interesting therapeutic target. While most work is focused on PDK in tumors characterized by high glycolytic activity, little research is devoted to those cases where PDK4 acts protective and is therefore highly needed.Copyright © 2020 Atas, Oberhuber and Kenner.

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