New roles for pyruvate kinase M2: working out the Warburg effect

Trends Biochem Sci. 2008 Aug;33(8):359-62. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2008.05.006. Epub 2008 Jul 4.


The origins and role of the Warburg effect have remained uncertain for many years. Two recent studies demonstrate that an embryonic- and cancer-cell-specific isoform of the enzyme pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) is regulated by binding to phospho-tyrosine motifs and promotes increased cell growth and tumor development. PKM2 enhances the use of glycolytic intermediates for macromolecular biosynthesis and tumor growth. These findings illustrate the distinct advantages of this metabolic phenotype in cancer cell growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Division
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pyruvate Kinase / metabolism*


  • Pyruvate Kinase