DNA sensor plays critical role in cancer immunotherapy via response to unexpected DNA form

Researchers report for the first time that tumors stressed by cancer immunotherapy release their mitochondrial DNA into nearby immune cells, triggering a host alert system. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Unravelling the mystery of DNA attacks in cells‘ powerhouse could pave way for new cancer treatments

A five-year study has found the mechanism responsible for repairing damage to mitochondrial DNA. This discovery could pave the way for new treatments for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, say the researchers. This research may also have important implications for clinical advances in so called ‘three-parent baby’ mitochondrial donation. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

Examining mitochondrial DNA may help identify unknown ancestry that influences breast cancer risk

Genetic testing of mitochondrial DNA could reveal otherwise unknown ancestry that can influence a person’s risk for certain types of breast cancer, a new study finds. (Mehr in: Cancer News — ScienceDaily)

A Mitochondrial Paradigm of Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases, Aging, and Cancer: A Dawn for Evolutionary Medicine

Progressive increase in mtDNA 3243A>G heteroplasmy causes abrupt transcriptional reprogramming

Wallace hypothesized mitochondrial dysfunction as a central role in a wide range of age-related disorders and various forms of cancer. Steadily rising increases in mitochondrial DNA mutations cause abrupt shifts in diseases. Discrete changes in nuclear gene expression in response to small increases in DNA mutant level are analogous to the phase shifts that is well known in physics: As heat is added, the ice abruptly turns to water or with more heat abruptly to steam. Therefore, a quantitative change that is an increasing proportion of mitochondrial DNA mutation results in a qualitative change  which coordinate changes in nuclear gene expression together with discrete changes in clinical symptoms.

 Wallace DC (2005) A Mitochondrial Paradigm of Metabolic and Degenerative Diseases, Aging, and Cancer: A Dawn for Evolutionary Medicine. Annu Rev Genet. 2005 ; 39: 359. doi:10.1146/annurev.genet.39.110304.095751

Picard M et. Al (2014) Progressive increase in mtDNA 3243A>G heteroplasmy causes abrupt transcriptional reprogramming. PNAS E4033–E4042, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1414028111