In order to fuel the uncontrolled cell proliferation and division, tumor cells reprogram the energy metabolism to Warburg effect, where glucose is favorite converted by glycolysis even in the presence of oxygen. However, the high energetic demand of tumor cells require upregulating the expression of glucose transporters, notably GLUT1, which substantially increases glucose uptake into cytoplasm. GLUT1 is overexpressed in a variety of tumor cells and is likely to be a potential drug target for the pan-cancer treatment. Although many small molecules were reported to inhibit the
glucose uptake function by various measurements, several shortcomings such as weak binding affinity, low specificity of the known inhibitors demand the identification of alternative inhibitors with novel scaffolds. In this study, we performed a virtual screening campaign by docking each compound from Chemdiv database to the glucose
binding pocket based on the crystal structure of GLUT1 (PDB ID 4PYP) and four small molecules with novel scaffolds were identified to inhibit the glucose uptake of cancer cells at the sub-micromole levels. The identified compounds may serve as starting points for the development of anti-cancer drugs by manipulating the energy metabolism.