Blocking LDHA glycolytic pathway sensitizes glioblastoma cells to radiation and temozolomide

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2017 Sep 30;491(4):932-938. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2017.07.138. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


Purpose: Up-regulation of lactate dehydrogenase LDHA, is a frequent event in human malignancies and relate to poor postoperative outcome. In the current study we examined the hypothesis that LDHA and anaerobic glycolysis, may contribute to the resistance of glioblastoma to radiotherapy and to temozolomide.

Methods and materials: The expression of LDH5 isoenzyme (fully encoded by the LDHA gene) was assessed in human glioblastoma tissues. Experimental in vitro studies involved the T98 and U87 glioblastoma cell lines. Their sensitivity to radiotherapy and to temozolomide, following silencing of LDHA gene or following exposure to the LDHA chemical inhibitor 'oxamate' and to the glycolysis inhibitor '2-deoxy-d-glucose' (2DG), was studied.

Results: Glioblastoma tissues showed strong cytoplasmic and nuclear LDH5 expression in 0-90% (median 20%) of the neoplastic cells. T98 and U87 cell lines showed that blocking glycolysis, either with LDHA gene silencing or exposure to oxamate (30 mM) and blockage of glycolysis with 2DG (500 μM), results in enhanced radiation sensitivity, an effect that was more robust in the T98 radioresistant cell line. Furthermore, all three glycolysis targeting methods, significantly sensitized both cell lines to Temozolomide.

Conclusions: The current study provides evidence that a large subgroup of human glioblastomas are highly glycolytic, and that inhibitors of glycolysis, like LDHA targeting agents, may prove of therapeutic importance by enhancing the efficacy of radiotherapy and temozolomide against this lethal disease.

Keywords: 2DG; Glioblastoma; LDHA; Oxamate; Radiotherapy; Temozolomide.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Dacarbazine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Dacarbazine / pharmacology
  • Dacarbazine / therapeutic use
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Glioblastoma / drug therapy*
  • Glioblastoma / metabolism
  • Glioblastoma / radiotherapy*
  • Glycolysis / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Lactate Dehydrogenases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lactate Dehydrogenases / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Temozolomide


  • Dacarbazine
  • Lactate Dehydrogenases
  • D-lactate dehydrogenase
  • Temozolomide