Cancer cells undergo major changes in energy and biosynthetic metabolism. One of them is the Warburg effect, in which pyruvate is used for fermentation rather for oxidative phosphorylation. Another major one is their increased reliance on glutamine, which helps to replenish the pool of Krebs cycle metabolites used for other purposes, such as amino acid or lipid biosynthesis. Mitochondria are central to these alterations, as the biochemical pathways linking these processes run through these organelles. Two membranes, an outer and inner membrane, surround mitochondria, the latter being impermeable to most organic compounds. Therefore, a large number of transport proteins are needed to link the biochemical pathways of the cytosol and mitochondrial matrix. Since the transport steps are relatively slow, it is expected that many of these transport steps are altered when cells become cancerous. In this review, changes in expression and regulation of these transport proteins are discussed as well as the role of the transported substrates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Mitochondria in Cancer, edited by Giuseppe Gasparre, Rodrigue Rossignol and Pierre Sonveaux.
Lytovchenko, O., & Kunji, E. R. S. (2017, August 1). Expression and putative role of mitochondrial transport proteins in cancer. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics. Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbabio.2017.03.006