Investigators say findings could lead to new approaches to cancer therapy — ScienceDaily
Scientists have extended identified that mitochondria, the “powerhouses” of cells, play a critical function in the metabolism and power production of cancer cells. Nevertheless, till now, small was identified about the partnership involving the structural organization of mitochondrial networks and their functional bioenergetic activity at the level of complete tumors.
In a new study, published in Nature, researchers from the UCLA Jonsson Extensive Cancer Center applied positron emission tomography (PET) in mixture with electron microscopy to create three-dimensional ultra-resolution maps of mitochondrial networks in lung tumors of genetically engineered mice. They categorized the tumors primarily based on mitochondrial activity and other components working with an artificial intelligence method known as deep understanding, quantifying the mitochondrial architecture across hundreds of cells and thousands of mitochondria all through the tumor.
The authors examined two principal subtypes of non-compact cell lung cancer (NSCLC) — adenocarcinomas and squamous-cell carcinomas and identified distinct subpopulations of mitochondrial networks inside these tumors. Importantly, they found that the mitochondria regularly organize themselves with organelles such as lipid droplets to develop one of a kind subcellular structures that help tumor cell metabolism and mitochondrial activity.
The study was led by Mingqi Han, Ph.D., a post-doctoral researcher in the lab of David Shackelford, Ph.D. Dr. Shackelford is a UCLA Jonsson Extensive Cancer Center member and Associate Professor of Pulmonary and Crucial Care Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen College of Medicine.
The authors anticipate that mitochondrial populations in human cancer samples will not be mutually exclusive to their respective tumor subtype, but rather there will be a spectrum of activity.
The investigators say these findings give essential data about the function of mitochondria in cancer cells and could lead to new approaches to cancer therapy.
“Our study represents a initially step towards producing extremely detailed three-dimensional maps of lung tumors working with genetically engineered mouse models,” stated Dr. Shackelford. “Employing these maps, we have begun to develop a structural and functional atlas of lung tumors, which has supplied us beneficial insight into how tumor cells structurally organize their cellular architecture in response to the higher metabolic demands of tumor development. Our findings hold guarantee to inform and strengthen present therapy tactics whilst illuminating new directions from which to target lung cancer.”
“Our study has uncovered a novel locating in the metabolic flux of lung tumors, revealing that their nutrient preference might be determined by the compartmentalization of their mitochondria with other organelles, either relying on glucose (“sugar”) or totally free fatty acids (“fat”),” stated Dr. Han. “This discovery has critical implications for building successful anti-cancer therapies that target tumor-precise nutrient preferences. Our multi-modality imaging strategy has enabled us to uncover this previously unknown aspect of cancer metabolism, and we think that it can be applied to other forms of cancer, paving the way for additional study in this location.”