Mitochondria are the organelles deputed to energy production, but they are also involved in carcinogenesis, cancer progression, and metastasis, playing a role in altered energy metabolism in cancer cells. Mitochondrial metabolism is connected with several mitochondrial pathways such as ROS signaling, Ca2+ [...] Read more.
Mitochondria are the organelles deputed to energy production, but they are also involved in carcinogenesis, cancer progression, and metastasis, playing a role in altered energy metabolism in cancer cells. Mitochondrial metabolism is connected with several mitochondrial pathways such as ROS signaling, Ca2+
homeostasis, mitophagy, and mitochondrial biogenesis. These pathways are merged in an interactive super-network that seems to play a crucial role in cancer. Germline mutations of the BRCA1
gene account for 5–10% of breast cancers and confer a risk of developing the disease 10- to 20-fold much higher than in non-carriers. By considering metabolic networks that could reconcile both genetic and non-genetic causal mechanisms in BRCA1
driven tumorigenesis, we herein based our study on the hypothesis that BRCA1
haploinsufficiency might drive metabolic rewiring in breast epithelial cells, acting as a push toward malignant transformation. Using 2D-DIGE we analyzed and compared the mitochondrial proteomic profile of sporadic breast cancer cell line (MCF7) and BRCA1
mutated breast cancer cell line (HCC1937). Image analysis was carried out with Decider Software, and proteins differentially expressed were identified by LC-MS/MS on a quadrupole-orbitrap mass spectrometer Q-Exactive. Ingenuity pathways analysis software was used to analyze the fifty-three mitochondrial proteins whose expression resulted significantly altered in response to BRCA1
mutation status. Mitochondrial Dysfunction and oxidative phosphorylation, and energy production and nucleic acid metabolism were, respectively, the canonical pathway and the molecular function mainly affected. Western blotting analysis was done to validate the expression and the peculiar mitochondrial compartmentalization of specific proteins such us HSP60 and HIF-1α. Particularly intriguing is the correlation between BRCA1
mutation status and HIF-1α localization into the mitochondria in a BRCA1
dependent manner. Data obtained led us to hypothesize an interesting connection between BRCA1
and mitochondria pathways, capable to trigger metabolic changes, which, in turn, sustain the high energetic and anabolic requirements of the malignant phenotype.