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Spotlight on the relevance of mtDNA in cancer

AuthorsCruz-Bermúdez, Alberto; Vicente-Blanco, Ramiro J.; González-Vioque, Emiliano; Fernández-Moreno, Miguel Ángel ; Garesse, Rafael
Warburg effect
Issue Date2017
CitationClinical and Translational Oncology 19(4): 409-418 (2017)
AbstractThe potential role of the mitochondrial genome has recently attracted interest because of its high mutation frequency in tumors. Different aspects of mtDNA make it relevant for cancer‘s biology, such as it encodes a limited but essential number of genes for OXPHOS biogenesis, it is particularly susceptible to mutations, and its copy number can vary. Moreover, most ROS in mitochondria are produced by the electron transport chain. These characteristics place the mtDNA in the center of multiple signaling pathways, known as mitochondrial retrograde signaling, which modifies numerous key processes in cancer. Cybrid studies support that mtDNA mutations are relevant and exert their effect through a modification of OXPHOS function and ROS production. However, there is still much controversy regarding the clinical relevance of mtDNA mutations. New studies should focus more on OXPHOS dysfunction associated with a specific mutational signature rather than the presence of mutations in the mtDNA.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1007/s12094-016-1561-6
e-issn: 1699-3055
issn: 1699-048X
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