A review on the emerging roles of pyruvate kinase M2 in anti-leukemia therapy

Guan Jun Yang, Jia Wu, Chung Hang Leung*, Dik Lung Ma*, Jiong Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Glycolysis is an important step in respiration and provides energy for cellular processes. Pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2), a key rate-limiting enzyme of glycolysis, plays an important role in tumor cell metabolism and proliferation. It is also specifically overexpressed in leukemia cells and contributes to leukemic proliferation, differentiation, and drug resistance through both aerobic glycolysis and non-metabolic pathways. In this review, the functions and regulatory roles of PKM2 are firstly introduced. Then, the molecular mechanisms of PKM2 in leukemogenesis are summarized. Next, reported PKM2 modulators and their anti-leukemia mechanisms are described. Finally, the current challenges and the potential opportunities of PKM2 inhibitors or agonists in leukemia therapy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1499-1506
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Macromolecules
Volume193, Part B
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Leukemia
  • Modulators
  • Pyruvate kinase M2


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