Mitochondrial dynamics and metastasis

Abstract

Changes in cellular metabolism are now a recognized hallmark of cancer. Although this process is ripe with therapeutic potential in the clinic, its complexity and extraordinary plasticity have systematically defied dogmas and oversimplifications. Perhaps, best exemplifying this intricacy is the role of mitochondria in cancer, which in just a few years has gone from largely unnoticed to pivotal disease driver. The underlying mechanisms are only beginning to emerge. However, there is now clear evidence linking the dynamic nature of mitochondria to the machinery of tumor cell motility and metastatic spreading. These studies may open fresh therapeutic options for patients with disseminated cancer, currently an incurable and mostly lethal condition.

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Fig. 1
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Reproduced from Caino et al. [78]

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Acknowledgements

I thank the present and past members of my laboratory for their innovative contributions to the studies summarized in this contribution. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grants R01 CA140043 and R35 CA220446.

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Correspondence to Dario C. Altieri.

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Altieri, D.C. Mitochondrial dynamics and metastasis. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 76, 827–835 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00018-018-2961-2

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Keywords

  • Mitochondria
  • Cancer
  • Dynamics
  • Trafficking
  • Tumor cell invasion
  • Metastasis