Genes & development

ZBTB7A acts as a tumor suppressor through the transcriptional repression of glycolysis.

PMID 25184678


Elevated glycolysis is a common metabolic trait of cancer, but what drives such metabolic reprogramming remains incompletely clear. We report here a novel transcriptional repressor-mediated negative regulation of glycolysis. ZBTB7A, a member of the POK (POZ/BTB and Krüppel) transcription repressor family, directly binds to the promoter and represses the transcription of critical glycolytic genes, including GLUT3, PFKP, and PKM. Analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data sets reveals that the ZBTB7A locus is frequently deleted in many human tumors. Significantly, reduced ZBTB7A expression correlates with up-regulation of the glycolytic genes and poor survival in colon cancer patients. Remarkably, while ZBTB7A-deficient tumors progress exceedingly fast, they exhibit an unusually heightened sensitivity to glycolysis inhibition. Our study uncovers a novel tumor suppressor role of ZBTB7A in directly suppressing glycolysis.