2-Deoxy-d-glucose exploits increased glucose metabolism in cancer and viral-infected cells: Relevance to its use in India against SARS-CoV-2

IUBMB Life. 2021 Oct;73(10):1198-1204. doi: 10.1002/iub.2546. Epub 2021 Sep 2.


Mechanisms discovered to drive increased glucose metabolism in cancer cells are found to be similar to those in viral-infected cells. In this mini review, we summarize the major pathways by which the sugar analog, 2-Deoxy-d-glucose, has been shown to exploit increased glucose metabolism in cancer and how this information applies to viral-infected cells. Moreover, we highlight the relevance of these findings to the emergency approval of 2-Deoxy-d-glucose in India to be used against SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.

Keywords: 2-deoxy-d-glucose or 2-DG; ER stress; SARS-CoV-2; cancer; cellular glucose metabolism; glycolysis; viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / metabolism*
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • Deoxyglucose / pharmacology*
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • India
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / drug effects*
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification
  • SARS-CoV-2 / pathogenicity


  • Deoxyglucose
  • Glucose