Generation, function and diagnostic value of mitochondrial DNA copy number alterations in human cancers

Publication year: 2011
Source: Life Sciences, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 13 June 2011

Man, Yu

Mitochondria are key organelles in eukaryotic cells principally responsible for multiple cellular functions. In addition to a plethora of somatic mutations as well as polymorphic sequence variations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), the identification of increased or reduced mtDNA copy number has been increasingly reported in a broad range of primary human cancers, underscoring that accumulation of mtDNA content alterations may be a pivotal factor in eliciting persistent mitochondrial deficient activities and eventually contributing to cancer pathogenesis and progression. However, the detailed roles of altered mtDNA amount in driving the tumorigenic process remain largely unknown. This review outlines mtDNA content changes…