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Tumor Plasticity

Tumor cells invariably reprogram their energy sources to acquire malignant traits that support disease progression, but the molecular requirements of these pathways have not been completely elucidated. We recently identified a large pool of molecular chaperones of the Heat Shock Protein-90 (Hsp90) family in mitochondria, selectively of tumor cells. Functionally, these molecules maintain mitochondrial homeostasis, including oxidative phosphorylation, the electron transport chain, lipid metabolism, protein translation and mechanisms of permeability transition maintained by the peptidyl prolyl isomerase, Cyclophilin D (CypD). These properties are exploited in cancer, providing adaptation, resistance to oxidative stress and other apoptotic stimuli, and energy reprogramming.

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