The 'Warburg effect' is considered a vital hallmark of cancer cells, characterized by an altered metabolism, in which cells rely on aerobic glycolysis. As a key enzyme of aerobic glycolysis, pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) serves a crucial role in tumorigenesis. Accumulating studies have indicated that PKM2 is a potential target for cancer therapy. The aim of the present study was to assess the anticancer effects of LY294002, a specific phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase inhibitor, on gastric cancer (GC) cells and further explore its possible mechanism in vitro. The present study revealed that LY294002 inhibited GC cell proliferation, induced early apoptosis and significantly decreased lactate dehydrogenase activity and lactate production, in part through inhibiting PKM2 expression. In summary, LY294002 exhibits anticancer effects on GC, partly via the downregulation of PKM2.
Keywords: LY294002; Warburg effect; gastric cancer; glycolysis; pyruvate kinase M2.