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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 137097, 7 pages
Review Article

Effect of Dietary ω-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid DHA on Glycolytic Enzymes and Warburg Phenotypes in Cancer

1Tuscia University, Department of Ecological and Biological Sciences, (DEB), Largo dell’Università, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
2Complex Equipment Center, Tuscia University, Largo dell’Università, 01100 Viterbo, Italy

Received 23 September 2014; Accepted 15 January 2015

Academic Editor: Karsten Weylandt

Copyright © 2015 Laura Manzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω-3 PUFAs) are a class of lipids that has been shown to have beneficial effects on some chronic degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory disorders, diabetes, and cancer. Among ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) has received particular attention for its antiproliferative, proapoptotic, antiangiogenetic, anti-invasion, and antimetastatic properties, even though the involved molecular mechanisms are not well understood. Recently, some in vitro studies showed that DHA promotes the inhibition of glycolytic enzymes and the Warburg phenotype. For example, it was shown that in breast cancer cell lines the modulation of bioenergetic functions is due to the capacity of DHA to activate the AMPK signalling and negatively regulate the HIF-1α functions. Taking into account these considerations, this review is focused on current knowledge concerning the role of DHA in interfering with cancer cell metabolism; this could be considered a further mechanism by which DHA inhibits cancer cell survival and progression.