Warburg effect, hexokinase-II, and radioresistance of laryngeal carcinoma

Jiang-Tao Zhong and Shui-Hong Zhou _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:14133-14146. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13044

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Jiang-Tao Zhong1 and Shui-Hong Zhou1

1 Department of Otolaryngology, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

Correspondence to:

Shui-Hong Zhou, email:

Keywords: hexokinase-II, Warburg effect, laryngeal carcinoma, radioresistance

Received: May 20, 2016 Accepted: October 28, 2016 Published: November 03, 2016


Radiotherapy is now widely used as a part of multidisciplinary treatment approaches for advanced laryngeal carcinoma and preservation of laryngeal function. However, the mechanism of the radioresistance is still unclear. Some studies have revealed that the Warburg effect promotes the radioresistance of various malignant tumors, including laryngeal carcinoma. Among the regulators involved in the Warburg effect, hexokinase-II (HK-II) is a crucial glycolytic enzyme that catalyzes the first essential step of glucose metabolism. HK-II is reportedly highly expressed in some human solid carcinomas by many studies. But for laryngeal carcinoma, there is only one. Till now, no studies have directly targeted inhibited HK-II and enhanced the radiosensitivity of laryngeal carcinoma. Accumulating evidence has shown that dysregulated signaling pathways often result in HK-II overexpression. Here, we summarize recent advances in understanding the association among the Warburg effect, HK-II, and the radioresistance of laryngeal carcinoma. We speculate on the feasibility of enhancing radiosensitivity by targeted inhibiting HK-II signaling pathways in laryngeal carcinoma, which may provide a novel anticancer therapy.

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