Indexed on: 24 Jul '10Published on: 24 Jul '10Published in: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Abnormal mitochondria have long been hypothesized to be involved in tumorigenesis. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations have been found in various cancer cells, yet their role in tumorigenesis remains largely unknown. Our long-term goal is to understand the role of mtDNA polymorphism and mtDNA mutations in tumorigenesis. We focused on the role of the mtDNA haplogroup; a 4,977 bp common mtDNA deletion; mtDNA mutations in the main control region of mtDNA or displacement loop; and mtDNA heteroplasmy in cancer occurrence and cancer development. Our results indicate that qualitative and quantitative changes in mtDNA play an important role in cancer development.