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Since its identification more than 150 years ago, there has been an extensive characterisation of glycogen metabolism and its regulatory pathways in the two main glycogen storage organs of the body, i.e. liver and muscle. In recent years, glycogen metabolism has also been demonstrated to be upregulated in many tumour types, suggesting it is an important aspect of cancer cell pathophysiology. Here, we provide an overview of glycogen metabolism and its regulation, with a focus on its role in metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells. The various methods to detect glycogen in tumours in vivo are also reviewed. Finally, we discuss the targeting of glycogen metabolism as a strategy for cancer treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem Pharmacol

Publication Date





3 - 11


Cancer, Glycogen metabolism, Hypoxia, Pentose shunt, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Glycogen, Glycogen Storage Disease, Humans, Neoplasms, Up-Regulation