Mitochondrial DNA plays a part in metastases



Recent experiments on mice have demonstrated that mitochondria ? both as present within a cancerous tumor and outside of its structure - affect the spread of cancer in terms of catalysing or inhibiting the process. Everything depends on their origins.

The research demonstrates a particularly interesting correlation. In the case of those mice of FVB strain which also carried mitochondria of two other strains, cancerous tumors would undergo slower formation i.e. development over an extended period. Additionally, they would provide less metastases than in the case of specimens equipped with native (non-deconstructed) FVB mitochondria.

In order to carry out the experiment, scientists collected cancer cells along with their original nuclei and mitochondrial genetic material, subsequently inoculating two groups of mice with them. The first group had their original genetic material retained, while the mitochondrial DNA of the other group had been altered. This configuration allowed for the verification of what was happening to the cancer. The obtained results have proven surprising, as both the development of cancer and extent of its metastases turned out to depend on the origins of given mitochondrial DNA - the course of the disease would be milder in the case of the swapped one. The amazement of the research team was so great that the experiment was repeated three times more, while its outcome has remained the same. Further research is aimed at the exploration of an impact that mitochondrial DNA bears with regard to the development of cancer-related diseases. It may result in a therapy reducing the risk of further occurrences of metastases.


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