European School of Genetic Medicine, Bertinoro | Italy
We discovered that benign tumors called oncocytomas carry disruptive mutations of mitochondrial Complex I causing the malfunctioning of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. By disrupting Complex I in cultured malignant cells they stop growing while in vivo they start growing again by recruiting macrophages which stimulate the formation of new blood vessels. Combined pseudohypoxia and inhibition of macrophage migration lead to tumor growth arrest.
Keywords: mtDNA mutations in cancer / tumor targeting / cancer therapy / consanguinity studies / epidemiology of autosomal recessive genetic disorders
Subject area(s): Molecular Medicine