Understanding the multiple enzymes that are present in glycolysis are important in knowing how to inhibit the glucose flux to tumor cells who are heavily dependent on glucose since glycolysis is very inefficient in producing ATP. The crucial enzymes involved are hexokinase, glut transporter, and phosphofructokinase, which have crucial roles in the glycolysis process. Inhibiting enzymes is advantageous over chemotherapy as it is a lot more specific and the cancer doesn’t develop a resistance to the chemotherapy drugs. Through the use of enzyme inhibiting drugs such as 3-bromopyruvate, florentin, and others the flux of glucose can be drastically reduced causing the cancer cells to have a lack of glucose, which causes them to slowly die from a lack of a proper nutrient supply. Studies have shown that inhibiting multiple enzymes requires less inhibition of each enzyme in order to reduce the flux by 50% and this shows that the surrounding healthy living cells will be impacted less as the enzymes of these healthy cells will be inhibited less. This will give patients a lot less side effects compared to if they used chemotherapy or anticancer drugs that only inhibit one enzyme.
Sai Alapati, Grade 12, Evergreen Valley High School, CA