Received July 21, 2016; Revision received November 28, 2016
One of the differences between normal and cancer cells is lower pH of the extracellular space in tumors. Low pH in the extracellular space activates proteases and stimulates tumor invasion and metastasis. Tumor cells display higher level of the HIF1α transcription factor that promotes cell switch from mitochondrial respiration to glycolysis. The terminal product of glycolysis is lactate. Lactate formation from pyruvate is catalyzed by the specific HIF1α-dependent isoform of lactate dehydrogenase A. Because lactate accumulation is deleterious for the cell, it is actively exported by monocarboxylate transporters. Lactate is cotransported with proton, which acidifies the extracellular space. Another protein that contributes to proton concentration increase in the extracellular space is tumor-specific HIF1α-dependent carbonic anhydrase IX, which generates a proton in the reaction between carbon dioxide and water. The activity of Na+/H+ exchanger (another protein pump) is stimulated by stress factors (e.g. osmotic shock) and proliferation stimuli. This review describes the mechanisms of proton pump activation and reviews results of studies on effects of various proton pump inhibitors on tumor functioning and growth in cell culture and in vivo. The prospects of combined application of proton pump inhibitors and cytostatics in cancer therapy are discussed.
KEY WORDS: invasion, metastasis, lactate dehydrogenase, monocarboxylate transporters, carbonic anhydrase, Na+/H+ exchanger, hypoxia, HIF1α