Pyruvate kinase type M2 and its role in tumor growth and spreading

Semin Cancer Biol. 2005 Aug;15(4):300-8. doi: 10.1016/j.semcancer.2005.04.009.


Proliferating cells and tumor cells in particular express the pyruvate kinase isoenzyme type M2 (M2-PK). Within the tumor metabolome M2-PK regulates the proportions of glucose carbons that are channelled to synthetic processes (inactive dimeric form) or used for glycolytic energy production (highly active tetrameric form, a component of the glycolytic enzyme complex). In tumor cells, the dimeric form of M2-PK (Tumor M2-PK) is always predominant. The dimerization is caused by direct interaction of M2-PK with certain oncoproteins. The switch between the tetrameric and dimeric form of M2-PK allows tumor cells to survive in environments with varying oxygen und nutrient supply.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pyruvate Kinase / physiology*


  • Pyruvate Kinase