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Genes 2018, 9(2), 115; doi:10.3390/genes9020115

Dynamin-Related Protein 1 at the Crossroads of Cancer

Cancer Signaling & Metabolism Group, Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde (Institute for Research and Innovation in Health Sciences) (I3S), University of Porto, Porto 4200-135, Portugal
Cancer Signaling & Metabolism Group, Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP), Porto 4200-135, Portugal
Medical Faculty of University of Porto—FMUP, Porto 4200-135, Portugal
Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute (ICBAS), University of Porto, Porto 4200-135, Portugal
Department of Pathology, Medical Faculty of University of Porto (FMUP), Porto 4200-135, Portugal
Department of Pathology and Oncology, Centro Hospitalar São João, Porto 4200-135, Portugal
Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Centro Hospitalar e Universitário de Coimbra (Coimbra University Hospital Centre), Coimbra 3000-075, Portugal
Faculty of Medicine, University of Coimbra, Coimbra 3000-548, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 December 2017 / Revised: 13 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 21 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1149 KB, uploaded 24 February 2018]   |  


Mitochondrial dynamics are known to have an important role in so-called age-related diseases, including cancer. Mitochondria is an organelle involved in many key cellular functions and responds to physiologic or stress stimuli by adapting its structure and function. Perhaps the most important structural changes involve mitochondrial dynamics (fission and fusion), which occur in normal cells as well as in cells under dysregulation, such as cancer cells. Dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1), a member of the dynamin family of guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases), is the key component of mitochondrial fission machinery. Dynamin-related protein 1 is associated with different cell processes such as apoptosis, mitochondrial biogenesis, mitophagy, metabolism, and cell proliferation, differentiation, and transformation. The role of DRP1 in tumorigenesis may seem to be paradoxical, since mitochondrial fission is a key mediator of two very different processes, cellular apoptosis and cell mitosis. Dynamin-related protein 1 has been associated with the development of distinct human cancers, including changes in mitochondrial energetics and cellular metabolism, cell proliferation, and stem cell maintenance, invasion, and promotion of metastases. However, the underlying mechanism for this association is still being explored. Herein, we review the published knowledge on the role of DRP1 in cancer, exploring its interaction with different biological processes in the tumorigenesis context. View Full-Text
Keywords: dynamin-related protein 1; mitochondrial biogenesis; tumorigenesis; cancer; metabolism dynamin-related protein 1; mitochondrial biogenesis; tumorigenesis; cancer; metabolism

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Lima, A.R.; Santos, L.; Correia, M.; Soares, P.; Sobrinho-Simões, M.; Melo, M.; Máximo, V. Dynamin-Related Protein 1 at the Crossroads of Cancer. Genes 2018, 9, 115.

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