Cancer Cell 2018 03 15;33(3):368-385.e7. Epub 2018 Feb 15.
Department of Medical Molecular Biology, Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Beijing 100850, China. Electronic address:
Aerobic glycolysis (the Warburg effect) facilitates tumor growth, and drugs targeting aerobic glycolysis are being developed. However, how the Warburg effect is directly regulated is largely unknown. Here we show that transcription factor SIX1 directly increases the expression of many glycolytic genes, promoting the Warburg effect and tumor growth in vitro and in vivo. SIX1 regulates glycolysis through HBO1 and AIB1 histone acetyltransferases. Cancer-related SIX1 mutation increases its ability to promote aerobic glycolysis and tumor growth. SIX1 glycolytic function is directly repressed by microRNA-548a-3p, which is downregulated, inversely correlates with SIX1, and is a good predictor of prognosis in breast cancer patients. Thus, the microRNA-548a-3p/SIX1 axis strongly links aerobic glycolysis to carcinogenesis and may become a promising cancer therapeutic target.