Is p53 Involved in Tissue-Specific Insulin Resistance Formation?
Cancer cells rely mainly on glycolysis rather than mitochondrial respiration for energy production, which is called the Warburg effect. p53 mutations are observed in about half of cancer cases, and p53 controls the cell cycle and cell death in response to cellular stressors. p53 has been emphasized as a metabolic regulator involved in glucose, glutamine, and purine metabolism. Here, we demonstrated metabolic changes in cancer that occurred through p53. We found that p53-inducible microRNA-34a (miR-34a) repressed glycolytic enzymes (hexokinase 1, hexokinase 2, glucose-6-phosphate isomerase), and pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1. Treatment with an anti-miR-34a inhibitor relieved the decreased expression in these enzymes following DNA damage. miR-34a-mediated inhibition of these enzymes resulted in repressed glycolysis and enhanced mitochondrial respiration. The results suggest that p53 has a miR-34a-dependent integrated mechanism to regulate glucose metabolism.