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154-17-6 YesY
ChemSpider 388402 YesY
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Molar mass 164.16 g/mol
Melting point 142 to 144 °C (288 to 291 °F; 415 to 417 K)
Except where noted otherwise, data is given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C (77 °F), 100 kPa)
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Infobox references

2-Deoxy-D-glucose is a glucose molecule which has the 2-hydroxyl group replaced by hydrogen, so that it cannot undergo further glycolysis. As such, it acts to competitively inhibit the production of glucose-6-PO4 from glucose at the phosphoglucoisomerase level.[2] In most cells, glucose hexokinase phosphorylates 2-deoxyglucose, trapping the product 2-deoxyglucose-6-phosphate intracellularly (with exception of liver and kidney)[citation needed]; thus, labeled forms of 2-deoxyglucose serve as a good marker for tissue glucose uptake and hexokinase activity. Many cancers have elevated glucose uptake and hexokinase levels. 2-Deoxyglucose labeled with tritium or carbon-14 has been a popular ligand for laboratory research in animal models, where distribution is assessed by tissue-slicing followed by autoradiography, sometimes in tandem with either conventional or electron microscopy.

2-DG is uptaken by the glucose transporters of the cell. Therefore, cells with higher glucose uptake, for example tumor cells, have also a higher uptake of 2-DG. Since 2-DG hampers cell growth, its use as a tumor therapeutic has been suggested, and in fact, 2-DG is in clinical trials [3] A recent clinical trial showed 2-DG can be tolerated at a dose of 63 mg/kg/day, however the observed cardiac side-effects (prolongation of the Q-T interval) at this dose and the fact that a majority of patients' (66%) cancer progressed casts doubt on the feasibility of this reagent for further clinical use.[4] However, it is not completely clear how 2-DG inhibits cell growth. The fact that glycolysis is inhibited by 2-DG, seems not to be sufficient to explain why 2-DG treated cells stop growing [5]

Clinicians have noted that 2-DG is metabolised in the pentose phosphate pathway in red blood cells at least, although the significance of this for other cell types and for cancer treatment in general is unclear.[6]

Work on the ketogenic diet as a treatment for epilepsy have investigated the role of glycolysis in the disease. 2-Deoxyglucose has been proposed by Garriga-Canut et al. as a mimic for the ketogenic diet, and shows great promise as a new anti-epileptic drug.[7] The authors suggest that 2-DG works, in part, by increasing the expression of Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), Nerve growth factor (NGF), Arc (protein) (ARC), and Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2).[8] Such uses are complicated by the fact that 2-deoxyglucose does have some toxicity.

2-DG has been used as a targeted optical imaging agent for fluorescent in vivo imaging.[9][10] In clinical medical imaging (PET scanning), fluorodeoxyglucose is used, where one of the 2-hydrogens of 2-deoxy-D-glucose is replaced with the positron-emitting isotope fluorine-18, which emits paired gamma rays, allowing distribution of the tracer to be imaged by external gamma camera(s). This is increasingly done in tandem with a CT function which is part of the same PET/CT machine, to allow better localization of small-volume tissue glucose-uptake differences.


  1. ^ Merck Index, 11th Edition, 2886.
  2. ^ Wick, AN; Drury, DR; Nakada, HI; Wolfe, JB (1957). "Localization of the primary metabolic block produced by 2-deoxyglucose". J Biol Chem 224 (2): 963–969. PMID 13405925. 
  3. ^ Pelicano, H; Martin, DS; Xu, RH; Huang, P (2006). "Glycolysis inhibition for anticancer treatment". Oncogene 25 (34): 4633–4646. doi:10.1038/sj.onc.1209597. PMID 16892078. 
  4. ^ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23228990
  5. ^ M Ralser, MM Wamelink, EA Struys, C Joppich, S Krobitsch, C Jakobs, H Lehrach Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2008, doi:10.1073/pnas.0803090105
  6. ^ JD O'Dea
  7. ^ Mireia Garriga-Canut, Barry Schoenike, Romena Qazi, Karen Bergendahl, Timothy J Daley, Rebecca M Pfender, John F Morrison, Jeffrey Ockuly, Carl Stafstrom, Thomas Sutula & Avtar Roopra, "2-Deoxy-D-glucose reduces epilepsy progression by NRSF-CtBP–dependent metabolic regulation of chromatin structure", Nat Neurosci, 9, 1382 - 1387 (2006). doi:10.1038/nn1791 Garriga-Canut, M.; Schoenike, B.; Qazi, R.; Bergendahl, K.; Daley, T. J.; Pfender, R. M.; Morrison, J. F.; Ockuly, J.; Stafstrom, C.; Sutula, T.; Roopra, A. (2006). "2-Deoxy-D-glucose reduces epilepsy progression by NRSF-CtBP–dependent metabolic regulation of chromatin structure". Nature Neuroscience 9 (11): 1382–1387. doi:10.1038/nn1791. PMID 17041593.  edit
  8. ^ Jia Yao, Shuhua Chen, Zisu Mao, Enrique Cadenas, Roberta Diaz Brinton "2-Deoxy-D-Glucose Treatment Induces Ketogenesis, Sustains Mitochondrial Function, and Reduces Pathology in Female Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease", PLOS ONE
  9. ^ Kovar, J., Volcheck, W., Sevick-Muraca, E., Simpson, M.A., and Olive, D.M., Analytical Biochemistry, Vol. 384 (2009) 254-262 Download PDF
  10. ^ Cheng, Z., Levi, J., Xiong, Z., Gheysens, O., Keren, S., Chen, X., and Gambhir, S., Bioconjugate Chemistry, 17(3), (2006), 662-669