Purpose: LHX9 methylation has been reported in many tumors, but its functions and related mechanisms in glioma are still unknown and need to be verified.

Methods: The protein level of LHX9 in glioma tissues was examined using western blotting and immunohistochemistry, and the functions of LHX9 in glioma cell lines were investigated using MTT and colony formation assays. In addition, the interaction between LHX9 and P53 was analyzed by immunoprecipitation, and the roles of LHX9 in cancer metabolism were explored by measuring metabolites.

Results: In this study, we found that the LHX9 expression level was decreased in glioma specimens, and the upregulation of LHX9 expression inhibited the growth of glioma cells in liquid medium and on soft agar. Regarding the molecular mechanism, we found that LHX9 interacted with p53, and downregulation of LHX9 promoted the expression of the glycolysis-related enzyme PGK1 and increased the lactic acid content. By interfering with the expression of LHX9, the tumorigenicity of glioma cells was promoted, an outcome blocked by further interference with PGK1 expression.

Conclusion: In summary, the decreased expression of LHX9 in gliomas activates the expression of the glycolysis-related enzyme PGK1, thereby promoting the development of gliomas, suggesting that the LHX9-PGK1 signaling axis can be used as a target for the treatment of glioma.