Mitochondria and Cancer

  • Kjerstin M. Owens
  • J. S. Modica-Napolitano
  • Keshav K. Singh


Mitochondria have been an area of scientific study for more than 100 years (Table 1). It was in the early twentieth century that Otto Warburg first described differences in the mitochondria of tumor vs. normal cells. He observed that tumor cells had an increased rate of aerobic glycolysis compared with normal cells. He hypothesized that this increase was due to the impairment in the respiratory capacity of tumor cells (Warburg 1930, 1956). This was the first of several notable differences observed between the mitochondria of normal and transformed cells that were subsequently discovered (reviewed in Weinhouse 1955; Pedersen 1978; Carafoli 1980; Modica-Napolitano and Singh 2002, 2004; Modica-Napolitano et al. 2007). The physical structure, composition, and function of mitochondria differ greatly from that of tumor and normal cells. For example, the mitochondria of many rapidly growing tumors are fewer in number, smaller, and have fewer cristae than do mitochondria from slowly...


Mitochondrial Genome Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma Electron Transport Chain Increase Reactive Oxygen Species Production Mitochondrial Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Studies in our laboratory were supported by NIH grants R01 CA121904, R01 CA13655, and R01 CA116430. We thank Ms. Paula Jones for editing this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kjerstin M. Owens
    • 1
  • J. S. Modica-Napolitano
    • 1
  • Keshav K. Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.K.K. Singh Department of Cancer GeneticsRoswell Park Cancer InstituteBuffalo

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