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Mitochondrial Metabolism In Carcinogenesis And Cancer Therapy

Hadia Moindjie, Sylvie Rodrigues-Ferreira, Clara Nahmias

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Carcinogenesis is a multi-step process that refers to transformation of a normal cell into a tumoral neoplastic cell. The mechanisms that promote tumor initiation, promotion and progression are varied, complex and remain to be understood. Studies have highlighted the involvement of oncogenic mutations, genomic instability and epigenetic alterations as well as metabolic reprogramming, in different processes of oncogenesis. However, the underlying mechanisms still have to be clarified. Mitochondria are central organelles at the crossroad of various energetic metabolisms. In addition to their pivotal roles in bioenergetic metabolism, they control redox homeostasis, biosynthesis of macromolecules and apoptotic signals, all of which are linked to carcinogenesis. In the present review, we discuss how mitochondria contribute to the initiation of carcinogenesis through gene mutations and production of oncometabolites, and how they promote tumor progression through the control of metabolic reprogramming and mitochondrial dynamics. Finally, we present mitochondrial metabolism as a promising target for the development of novel therapeutic strategies.