Characterization of glycolysis-related gene expression in malignant melanoma

Koch A, Ebert EV, Seitz T, Dietrich P, Berneburg M, Boßerhoff AK, Hellerbrand C (2020)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2020


Book Volume: 216

Article Number: 152752

Journal Issue: 1

DOI: 10.1016/j.prp.2019.152752


Malignant melanoma exhibits a distinct metabolic phenotype with high glycolytic activity. Previously, we have shown that glucose transporter isoform 1 (GLUT1) favors growth and metastasis of malignant melanoma. In this study, we investigated the expression of GLUT1 and the further glycolysis-related genes hexokinase 1 and 2 (HK1, HK2), lactate dehydrogenase A (LDH-A) and monocarboxylate transporters 1 and 4 (MCT1, MCT4) in eleven human melanoma cell lines under normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, a set of 25 human malignant melanoma tissue samples was analyzed. Under hypoxic conditions, we could observe a significant upregulation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1a) target genes GLUT1, HK2 and LDH-A, but not MCT4. While under normoxic conditions the expression of glycolysis-related genes showed no correlation with origin or BRAF mutation status, GLUT1 expression was significantly elevated in metastatic and BRAF-V600E mutated melanoma cell lines under hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, GLUT1 expression in human melanoma tissue samples correlated significantly with HK1, LDH-A and MCT1 expression, confirming a glycolytic phenotype. Notably, Cyclin D1 expression, which is used as a prognostic marker for the outcome of melanoma patients, as it is associated with proliferation and invasiveness of melanoma, significantly correlated with GLUT1, HK1, LDH-A and MCT1 expression. In summary, our findings provide further evidence that enhanced glycolytic activity in melanoma favors disease progression and is an attractive therapeutic target for this highly aggressive tumor.

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Koch, A., Ebert, E.V., Seitz, T., Dietrich, P., Berneburg, M., Boßerhoff, A.K., & Hellerbrand, C. (2020). Characterization of glycolysis-related gene expression in malignant melanoma. Pathology Research and Practice, 216(1).


Koch, Andreas, et al. "Characterization of glycolysis-related gene expression in malignant melanoma." Pathology Research and Practice 216.1 (2020).

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