Glycolysis as primary energy source in tumor cell chemotaxis

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1990 Dec 5;82(23):1836-40. doi: 10.1093/jnci/82.23.1836.


The energy requirements via glycolytic pathways were directly measured in migrating tumor cells. Motility in the metastatic human melanoma cell line A2058, stimulated by insulinlike growth factor I (IGF-I), depends on glycolysis in the presence of glucose as its principal source of energy. Motility in glucose-free medium was 75% reduced and utilized mitochondrial respiration (inhibited by oligomycin). With increasing (physiologic) glucose concentrations, there was a dramatic shift to anaerobic glycolysis as the energy source and 93% elimination of the oligomycin inhibition of motility. Oxamate, an inhibitor of glycolysis, inhibited motility at all glucose concentrations. CO2 production from glycolysis and from the hexose monophosphate shunt was measured in migrating tumor cells. The time course and glucose-dose dependence of glycolytic CO2 production correlated directly with motility. In contrast, mitochondrial CO2 production was inversely related to glucose concentration. A monoclonal antibody for the IGF-I receptor inhibited both motility and glycolytic CO2 production, indicating that both processes are receptor mediated.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Chemotaxis* / drug effects
  • Cycloheximide / pharmacology
  • Energy Metabolism / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glycolysis* / drug effects
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Melanoma / pathology
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Oligomycins / pharmacology
  • Oxamic Acid / pharmacology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / physiology
  • Receptors, Somatomedin
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Oligomycins
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Somatomedin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Cycloheximide
  • Glucose
  • Oxamic Acid