Instead of relying on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation, most cancer cells rely heavily on aerobic glycolysis, a phenomenon termed as “the Warburg effect. This effect may be is a direct consequence of damage and it persists in cancer cells that recover from damage. Glycolysis and rate of cell proliferation in cancer cells that recovered from severe damage show that such in vitro Damage-Recovered (DR) cells exhibit mitochondrial structural remodeling, display Warburg effect, and show increased in vitro and in vivo proliferation and tolerance to damage.
To test whether cancer cells derived from tumor microenvironment can show similar properties, (DR) cells from tumors show increased aerobic glycolysis and a high growth rate. These findings show that Warburg effect and its consequences are induced in cancer cells that survive severe damage. (Biochemical and biophysical research communications. 2014 May 24, PMID: 24802411).