The concerted action of mitochondrial dynamics and positioning: New characters in cancer onset and progression

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Mitochondria are dynamic organelles whose morphology and activity are extremely variable, depending on the metabolic state of the cell. In particular, their shape and movements within the cell are finely regulated by an increasing number of proteins, which take part in the process of mitochondrial fission/fusion and connect the organelles to the cytoskeleton. As to their activities, mitochondria are considered to be at the crossroad between cell life and death since, on the one hand, they are essential in ATP production and in multiple metabolic pathways but, on the other, they are involved in the intrinsic apoptotic cascade, triggered by different stress conditions. Importantly, the process of mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, as well as the morphology and the dynamics of these organelles, is known to deeply impact on both pro-survival and pro-death mitochondrial activities. Recently, increasing evidence has accrued on a central role of deregulated mitochondrial functionalities in the onset and progression of different pathologies, ranging from neurodegenerative diseases to cancer. In this contribution, we will present the latest findings connecting alterations in the machineries that control mitochondrial dynamics and localization to specific cancer hallmarks, highlighting the importance of mitochondria for the viability of cancer cells and discussing their role as promising targets for the development of novel anticancer therapies.




Pendin, D., Filadi, R., & Pizzo, P. (2017, May 22). The concerted action of mitochondrial dynamics and positioning: New characters in cancer onset and progression. Frontiers in Oncology. Frontiers Media S.A.

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