Tumor metabolism of lactate: the influence and therapeutic potential for MCT and CD147 regulation

Future Oncol. 2010 Jan;6(1):127-48. doi: 10.2217/fon.09.145.


Tumor metabolism consists of complex interactions between oxygenation states, metabolites, ions, the vascular network and signaling cascades. Accumulation of lactate within tumors has been correlated with poor clinical outcomes. While its production has negative implications, potentially contributing to tumor progression, the implications of the ability of tumors to utilize lactate can offer new therapeutic targets for the future. Monocarboxylate transporters (MCTs) of the SLC16A gene family influence substrate availability, the metabolic path of lactate and pH balance within the tumor. CD147, a chaperone to some MCT subtypes, contributes to tumor progression and metastasis. The implications and consequences of lactate utilization by tumors are currently unknown; therefore future research is needed on the intricacies of tumor metabolism. The possibility of metabolic modification of the tumor microenvironment via regulation or manipulation of MCT1 and CD147 may prove to be promising avenues of therapeutic options.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Basigin / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / metabolism*
  • Monocarboxylic Acid Transporters / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*


  • Monocarboxylic Acid Transporters
  • Basigin
  • Lactic Acid