Hexokinase II integrates energy metabolism and cellular protection: Akting on mitochondria and TORCing to autophagy
This review discusses the role of hexokinase II (HKII), a protein which is commonly misregulated in cancer. Hexokinases phosphorylate glucose, which is the first rate-limiting step of glycolysis. Glucose-6-phosphate then inhibits the action of hexokinases to form a feedback mechanism. Furthermore, HKII takes a central role in pro-survival signals, through its inhibition of apoptosis and enhancement of mitophagy. Thus, HKII can be viewed as a molecule which bridges the metabolism and cell survival.