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Nat Rev Cancer. 2012 Oct;12(10):685-98. doi: 10.1038/nrc3365.

Mitochondria and cancer.

Author information

1
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, USA. wallacedl@email.chop.edu

Abstract

Contrary to conventional wisdom, functional mitochondria are essential for the cancer cell. Although mutations in mitochondrial genes are common in cancer cells, they do not inactivate mitochondrial energy metabolism but rather alter the mitochondrial bioenergetic and biosynthetic state. These states communicate with the nucleus through mitochondrial 'retrograde signalling' to modulate signal transduction pathways, transcriptional circuits and chromatin structure to meet the perceived mitochondrial and nuclear requirements of the cancer cell. Cancer cells then reprogramme adjacent stromal cells to optimize the cancer cell environment. These alterations activate out-of-context programmes that are important in development, stress response, wound healing and nutritional status.

PMID:
23001348
PMCID:
PMC4371788
DOI:
10.1038/nrc3365
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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