Blog
About

7
views
0
recommends
+1 Recommend
0 collections
    0
    shares
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Warburg effect(s)—a biographical sketch of Otto Warburg and his impacts on tumor metabolism

      Cancer & Metabolism

      BioMed Central

      Biography, Warburg effect, Glycolysis, Respiration, NAD(P)H, Tumor cells, Spectroscopy, Manometer, Hypothesis, Nobel prize

      Read this article at

      Bookmark
          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.

          Abstract

          Virtually everyone working in cancer research is familiar with the “Warburg effect”, i.e., anaerobic glycolysis in the presence of oxygen in tumor cells. However, few people nowadays are aware of what lead Otto Warburg to the discovery of this observation and how his other scientific contributions are seminal to our present knowledge of metabolic and energetic processes in cells. Since science is a human endeavor, and a scientist is imbedded in a network of social and academic contacts, it is worth taking a glimpse into the biography of Otto Warburg to illustrate some of these influences and the historical landmarks in his life. His creative and innovative thinking and his experimental virtuosity set the framework for his scientific achievements, which were pioneering not only for cancer research. Here, I shall allude to the prestigious family background in imperial Germany; his relationships to Einstein, Meyerhof, Krebs, and other Nobel and notable scientists; his innovative technical developments and their applications in the advancement of biomedical sciences, including the manometer, tissue slicing, and cell cultivation. The latter were experimental prerequisites for the first metabolic measurements with tumor cells in the 1920s. In the 1930s–1940s, he improved spectrophotometry for chemical analysis and developed the optical tests for measuring activities of glycolytic enzymes. Warburg’s reputation brought him invitations to the USA and contacts with the Rockefeller Foundation; he received the Nobel Prize in 1931. World politics and world wars heavily affected Warburg’s scientific survival in Berlin. But, after his second postwar recovery, Warburg’s drive for unraveling the energetic processes of life, both in plants and in tumor cells, continued until his death in 1970. The legacy of Otto Warburg is not only the Warburg effect, but also the identification of the “respiratory ferment” and hydrogen-transferring cofactors and the isolation of glycolytic enzymes. His hypothesis of respiratory damage being the cause of cancer remains to be a provocative scientific issue, along with its implications for cancer treatment and prevention. Warburg is therefore still stimulating our thinking, as documented in a soaring increase in publications citing his name in the context of tumor metabolism.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 32

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: not found
          • Article: not found

          On the origin of cancer cells.

           O WARBURG (1956)
            Bookmark
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: not found
            • Article: not found

            THE METABOLISM OF TUMORS IN THE BODY

              Bookmark
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: found
              • Article: not found

              Otto Warburg's contributions to current concepts of cancer metabolism.

              Otto Warburg pioneered quantitative investigations of cancer cell metabolism, as well as photosynthesis and respiration. Warburg and co-workers showed in the 1920s that, under aerobic conditions, tumour tissues metabolize approximately tenfold more glucose to lactate in a given time than normal tissues, a phenomenon known as the Warburg effect. However, this increase in aerobic glycolysis in cancer cells is often erroneously thought to occur instead of mitochondrial respiration and has been misinterpreted as evidence for damage to respiration instead of damage to the regulation of glycolysis. In fact, many cancers exhibit the Warburg effect while retaining mitochondrial respiration. We re-examine Warburg's observations in relation to the current concepts of cancer metabolism as being intimately linked to alterations of mitochondrial DNA, oncogenes and tumour suppressors, and thus readily exploitable for cancer therapy.
                Bookmark

                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                Institute of Medical Engineering (IMETUM), Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Boltzmannstr. 11, D-85748 Garching, Germany
                Contributors
                +49 89 289-10806 , otto@tum.de , http://www.imetum.tum.de
                Journal
                Cancer Metab
                Cancer Metab
                Cancer & Metabolism
                BioMed Central (London )
                2049-3002
                8 March 2016
                8 March 2016
                2016
                : 4
                145
                10.1186/s40170-016-0145-9
                4784299
                26962452
                © Otto. 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Categories
                Review
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2016

                Comments

                Comment on this article