• Respiratory chain complex I dysfunction in tumorigenesis
  • Capristo, Mariantonietta <1981>


  • BIO/10 Biochimica


  • Diseases due to mutations in mitochondrial DNA probably represent the most common form of metabolic disorders, including cancer, as highlighted in the last years. Approximately 300 mtDNA alterations have been identified as the genetic cause of mitochondrial diseases and one-third of these alterations are located in the coding genes for OXPHOS proteins. Despite progress in identification of their molecular mechanisms, little has been done with regard to the therapy. Recently, a particular gene therapy approach, namely allotopic expression, has been proposed and optimized, although the results obtained are rather controversial. In fact, this approach consists in synthesis of a wild-type version of mutated OXPHOS protein in the cytosolic compartment and in its import into mitochondria, but the available evidence is based only on the partial phenotype rescue and not on the demonstration of effective incorporation of the functional protein into respiratory complexes. In the present study, we took advantage of a previously analyzed cell model bearing the m.3571insC mutation in MTND1 gene for the ND1 subunit of respiratory chain complex I. This frame-shift mutation induces in fact translation of a truncated ND1 protein then degraded, causing complex I disassembly, and for this reason not in competition with that allotopically expressed. We show here that allotopic ND1 protein is correctly imported into mitochondria and incorporated in complex I, promoting its proper assembly and rescue of its function. This result allowed us to further confirm what we have previously demonstrated about the role of complex I in tumorigenesis process. Injection of the allotopic clone in nude mice showed indeed that the rescue of complex I assembly and function increases tumor growth, inducing stabilization of HIF1╬▒, the master regulator of tumoral progression, and consequently its downstream gene expression activation.


  • 2012-04-26


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Capristo, Mariantonietta (2012) Respiratory chain complex I dysfunction in tumorigenesis, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare, molecolare e industriale/cellular, molecular and industrial biology: progetto n. 1 Biologia e fisiologia cellulare , 24 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/4798.