PerspectiveCell Biology

Warburg Effect and Redox Balance

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  02 Dec 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6060, pp. 1219-1220
DOI: 10.1126/science.1215637

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

This article has a correction. Please see:


In the 1920s, German biochemist Otto Warburg demonstrated that tumor cells produce copious amounts of lactate despite the presence of ample oxygen—a phenomenon called aerobic glycolysis or the Warburg effect. Warburg hypothesized that cancer is caused by mitochondrial damage, followed by an increase in glycolysis, which promotes tumorigenesis (1). However, mitochondrial defects are rare in cancer, and multiple mechanisms promote glycolysis in tumor cells including growth factor signaling (2). On page 1278 in this issue, Anastasiou et al. (3) show that the enzyme pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), an essential regulator of aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells (4), has a previously unappreciated role in maintaining cellular redox homeostasis.