A century ago, Otto Heinrich Warburg made a seminal discovery now known as the Warburg effect. This metabolic signature, prevalent across all cancer cells, is characterized by the prominent shift of glucose metabolism toward lactate production instead of oxidative respiration. Warburg's pioneering theory suggested that the induction of the Warburg effect instigates dedifferentiation and the process of tumorigenesis, illuminating a fundamental mechanism underlying cancer development. To celebrate the centennial anniversary of Warburg's monumental finding, it is an appropriate moment to reflect upon and commemorate his revolutionary contributions to the fields of metabolism and cancer research. In this review, we explore the role of mitochondria in epigenetic regulation and the decisions governing cell fate from an evolutionary standpoint. Moreover, we summarize metabolic and genetic factors that trigger the Warburg effect, underscoring the therapeutic potential of mitochondrial uncoupling as a strategy to counter this metabolic aberration. Our goal is to elucidate the means to induce tumor differentiation through metabolic therapy, thereby laying a foundation toward the cure for cancer.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 8 is April 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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