Role of Glucose Metabolism Reprogramming in the Pathogenesis of Cholangiocarcinoma

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Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is one of the most lethal cancers, and its rate of occurrence is increasing annually. The diagnoses of CCA patients remain elusive due to the lack of early symptoms and is misdiagnosed as HCC in a considerable percentage of patients. It is crucial to explore the underlying mechanisms of CCA carcinogenesis and development to find out specific biomarkers for early diagnosis of CCA and new promising therapeutic targets. In recent times, the reprogramming of tumor cells metabolism has been recognized as a hallmark of cancer. The modification from the oxidative phosphorylation metabolic pathway to the glycolysis pathway in CCA meets the demands of cancer cell proliferation and provides a favorable environment for tumor development. The alteration of metabolic programming in cancer cells is complex and may occur via mutations and epigenetic modifications within oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, signaling pathways, and glycolytic enzymes. Herein we review the altered metabolism in cancer and the signaling pathways involved in this phenomena as they may affect CCA development. Understanding the regulatory pathways of glucose metabolism such as Akt/mTOR, HIF1α, and cMyc in CCA may further develop our knowledge of this devastating disease and may offer relevant information in the exploration of new diagnostic biomarkers and targeted therapeutic approaches for CCA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113
JournalFrontiers in Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 3 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant R01CA183764 (to SG), and The Hormel Foundation. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright © 2020 Pant, Richard, Peixoto and Gradilone.


  • aerobic glycolysis
  • cholangiocarcinoma
  • glucose metabolism
  • metabolic reprogramming
  • warburg effect


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