Cancer cells typically exhibit increased glycolysis and decreased mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, and they continue to exhibit some elevation in glycolysis even under aerobic conditions. However, it is unclear whether cancer cell lines employ a high level of glycolysis comparable to that of the original cancers from which they were derived, even if their culture conditions are changed to physiologically relevant oxygen concentrations. From three childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients we established three new pairs of cell lines in both atmospheric (20%) and physiologic (bone marrow level, 5%) oxygen concentrations. Cell lines established in 20% oxygen exhibited lower proliferation, survival, expression of glycolysis genes, glucose consumption, and lactate production. Interestingly, the effects of oxygen concentration used during cell line initiation were only partially reversible when established cell cultures were switched from one oxygen concentration to another for eight weeks. These observations indicate that ALL cell lines established at atmospheric oxygen concentration can exhibit relatively low levels of glycolysis and these levels are semi-permanent, suggesting that physiologic oxygen concentrations may be needed from the time of cell line initiation to preserve the high level of glycolysis commonly exhibited by leukemias in vivo.
Keywords: Glycolysis; Oxygen; Proliferation.
Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.