Mitochondria and Cancer

Cell. 2016 Jul 28;166(3):555-566. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.07.002.


Mitochondria are bioenergetic, biosynthetic, and signaling organelles that are integral in stress sensing to allow for cellular adaptation to the environment. Therefore, it is not surprising that mitochondria are important mediators of tumorigenesis, as this process requires flexibility to adapt to cellular and environmental alterations in addition to cancer treatments. Multiple aspects of mitochondrial biology beyond bioenergetics support transformation, including mitochondrial biogenesis and turnover, fission and fusion dynamics, cell death susceptibility, oxidative stress regulation, metabolism, and signaling. Thus, understanding mechanisms of mitochondrial function during tumorigenesis will be critical for the next generation of cancer therapeutics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Carcinogenesis*
  • Humans
  • Mitochondria / physiology*