Highly glycolytic cancer cells excrete lactate to maintain cellular homeostasis. Inhibiting lactate export by pharmacological targeting of plasma membrane lactate transporters is being pursued as an anti-cancer therapy. Work from many laboratories show that the simultaneous inhibition of lactate export and mitochondrial respiration elicits strong synthetic lethality. The mitochondrial inhibitor, metformin, has been the subject of numerous clinical trials as an anti-cancer agent. We propose that, in future clinical trials, metformin be combined with lactate transport inhibitors to exploit this synergistic interaction.
Keywords: MCT4; cancer; lactic acid; metformin; monocarboxylate transporter; syrosingopine.
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