The emerging facets of non-cancerous Warburg effect

Alyaa M. Abdel-Haleem, Nathan E. Lewis, Neema Jamshidi, Katsuhiko Mineta, Xin Gao, Takashi Gojobori*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


The Warburg effect (WE), or aerobic glycolysis, is commonly recognized as a hallmark of cancer and has been extensively studied for potential anti-cancer therapeutics development. Beyond cancer, the WE plays an important role in many other cell types involved in immunity, angiogenesis, pluripotency, and infection by pathogens (e.g., malaria). Here, we review the WE in non-cancerous context as a "hallmark of rapid proliferation." We observe that the WE operates in rapidly dividing cells in normal and pathological states that are triggered by internal and external cues. Aerobic glycolysis is also the preferred metabolic program in the cases when robust transient responses are needed. We aim to draw attention to the potential of computational modeling approaches in systematic characterization of common metabolic features beyond the WE across physiological and pathological conditions. Identification of metabolic commonalities across various diseases may lead to successful repurposing of drugs and biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number279
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Issue numberOCT
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 23
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Cancer
  • Constraint-based metabolic modeling
  • Immune cells
  • Malaria
  • Pluripotency
  • Rapid proliferation
  • Warburg effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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