Energy metabolism is the foundation of survival for all organisms, and mitochondria are the most important energy-supplying organelles in eukaryotic cells. However, the mitochondrial and energy/metabolism-related properties of cancer stem cells (CSCs), the stem cell-like subpopulation in tumor masses, remain unknown. In our study, we compared the masses of mitochondria and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm), oxygen/glucose consumption, and the concentration of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and ATP between lung CSCs (LCSCs) and non-LCSCs. In addition, the change in features during differentiation was examined. Some mitochondrial and energy metabolism-related properties, such as perinuclear mitochondrial distribution, a lower quantity of mtDNA, higher Δψm, lower oxygen/glucose consumption, and lower intracellular concentrations of ROS and ATP, can be used as indicators of LCSCs.
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