Literature highlights

In the last few years, "mitochondrial metabolism has emerged as a target for cancer therapy, owing to the reemergence of mitochondria as a central metabolic organelle required for tumorigenesis."1 Mitochondria is a very pertinent target in cancer therapy.

In many cancers gene mutations are involved, which alter the bioenergetic state. In the late 1930s, the nobel prize Otto Warburg postulated that cancer cells used "aerobic glycolysis "2‑4 meaning that cancer cells produce excess amounts of lacate in the presence of oxygen. This metabolic adaptation may help malignant cells overcome apoptosis5 and is thought to facilitate cancer cell survival in hypoxic environments.6

Mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer has expanded to include defects in mitochondrial genomics and biogenesis, apooptotic signaling, and mitochondrial dynamics. Mitochondrial fussion is necessary to maintain the mitochondrial genome. Additionnally, since mitochondrial division is also essential for the elimination of damaged mitochondria, any deficits in mitochondrial fission may contribute to the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria. It is possible that an imbalance in mitochondrial dynamics could contribute to the loss of mtDNA that is observed in cancer.7

1. S.E. Weinberg, N.S. Chandel. Targeting mitochondria metabolism for cancer therapy. Nat. chem. Biol. 2015; 11(1): 9-15.

2. Warburg O. Smith RR, editor. The Metabolism of Tumors. 1931

3. Warburg O. On the origin of cancer cells. Science. 1956; 123: 309–314.

4. Wallace D. C. Mitochondria and cancer: Warburg addressed. Cold Spring Harb. Symp. Quant. Biol. 2005; 70: 363–374.

5. Moniz S. and Jordan P. Emerging roles for WNK kinases in cancer. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2010; 67(8): 1265-76.

6. Anderson K. M., Jajeh A., Guinan P., and Rubenstein M. Medical Hypotheses. 2010; 74(5): 868-870.

7. Roberts E. R. and Thomas K. J. The role of mitochondria in the development and progression of lung cancer. Computational and structural biotechnology journal, 2013, 6(7):e201303019.

Which technologies to use

Mitoread Cancer Profiler

We offer a cancer profiler that combines an analysis of the Warburg effect through mitochondrial bioenergetics (BBS), of the Redox status and of mitochondrial fusion-fission dynamics to profile different cancer cells with regard to drug response.

With this test you can:

  • Assess the sensitivity of your cancer drugs
  • Compare your compound's activity in different cancer cell lines or tumor primary cultures
  • Evaluate how the glycolytic status of specific cancer cell lines modifies their response to your drug
  • Examine your compound's ability to modify tumor multi-drug resistance

mtDNA content can also be measured upon request.

All our assays are fully customizable and can be adapted to meet your specific needs. Contact us to learn how our technologies might be of value to you!