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Mitochondrial Flexibility of Breast Cancers: A Growth Advantage and a Therapeutic Opportunity

1
Department of Public Health, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
2
Department of Molecular Medicine and Medical Biotechnology, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
3
Department of General, Oncological, Bariatric and Endocrine-Metabolic Surgery, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
4
Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Naples, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2019, 8(5), 401; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells8050401
Received: 7 March 2019 / Revised: 26 April 2019 / Accepted: 28 April 2019 / Published: 30 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mitochondrial Metabolic Reprogramming and Nuclear Crosstalk in Cancer)
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Abstract

Breast cancers are very heterogeneous tissues with several cell types and metabolic pathways together sustaining the initiation and progression of disease and contributing to evasion from cancer therapies. Furthermore, breast cancer cells have an impressive metabolic plasticity that is regulated by the heterogeneous tumour microenvironment through bidirectional interactions. The structure and accessibility of nutrients within this unstable microenvironment influence the metabolism of cancer cells that shift between glycolysis and mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP). In this scenario, the mitochondrial energetic pathways of cancer cells can be reprogrammed to modulate breast cancer’s progression and aggressiveness. Moreover, mitochondrial alterations can lead to crosstalk between the mitochondria and the nucleus, and subsequently affect cancer tissue properties. This article reviewed the metabolic plasticity of breast cancer cells, focussing mainly on breast cancer mitochondrial metabolic reprogramming and the mitochondrial alterations influencing nuclear pathways. Finally, the therapeutic strategies targeting molecules and pathways regulating cancer mitochondrial alterations are highlighted. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast cancer; tumour microenvironment; mitochondrial reprogramming; oxidative phosphorylation; therapeutic strategies breast cancer; tumour microenvironment; mitochondrial reprogramming; oxidative phosphorylation; therapeutic strategies
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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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Avagliano, A.; Ruocco, M.R.; Aliotta, F.; Belviso, I.; Accurso, A.; Masone, S.; Montagnani, S.; Arcucci, A. Mitochondrial Flexibility of Breast Cancers: A Growth Advantage and a Therapeutic Opportunity. Cells 2019, 8, 401.

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