Potential Utility of Synthetic D-Lactate Polymers in Skin Cancer.
Increased breakdown of glucose through glycolysis in both aerobic and anaerobic conditions is a hallmark feature of mammalian cancer and leads to increased production of L-lactate. The high-level lactate present within the tumor microenvironment is reused as a crucial biofuel to support rapid cancer cell proliferation, survival, and immune evasion. Inhibitors that target the glycolysis process are being developed for cancer therapy. In this study, we report an approach of using synthetic D-lactate dimers to inhibit melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma cell proliferation and survival. We also provide in vivo evidence that intratumoral injection of D-lactate dimers induced an innate immune response and inhibited subcutaneous melanoma xenograft growth in immunodeficient mice. Our findings support a potential utility of D-lactate dimers in skin cancer treatment and therefore warrant further mechanistic studies.