Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The role of mitochondrial DNA in tumorigenesis
Author: Dickinson, Adam
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Mitochondria are cytoplasmic organelles that are found in almost all mammalian cells. Mitochondria contain their own genome, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that encodes 13 subunits of the electron transfer chain, which is the primary generator of cellular energy. Precise regulation of mtDNA copy number is essential for normal cell function and also the differentiation of stem cells into specialized cell types. Abnormal regulation of mtDNA copy number is associated with cellular dysfunction, mitochondrial disease and more recently cancer. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a highly malignant subgroup of brain tumors that exhibit similar characteristics to human neural stem cells (hNSCs) including multipotency and the expression of the stem cell factors. It is unknown how GBM cells regulate their mtDNA copy number during differentiation and whether this differs to hNSCs. Furthermore, it is unknown what role mtDNA plays in the gene expression profiles and the tumorigenicity of GBM. To address these issues, GBM cells and hNSCs were differentiated for 28 days and their mtDNA copy number and gene expression were analyzed. In addition, GBM cells were progressively depleted of their mtDNA using the depletion agent, 2'-3'-dideoxycytidine, and their in vivo tumorigenicity assessed. hNSCs and GBM cell lines regulated their copy number in a differential manner during differentiation. hNSCs progressively expanded their mtDNA copy number and adopted a differentiated phenotype whilst GBM cells failed to mimic these processes and their differentiation was incomplete. In addition, progressive depletion of mtDNA copy number in GBM cells resulted in reduced proliferation rates and the down regulation of stem cell factors. In vivo, mtDNA depleted GBM cells formed tumors at a reduced rate and frequency relative to nondepleted cells. These outcomes demonstrate that mtDNA copy number is abnormally regulated in GBM cells and hinders their ability to complete differentiation. The failure of mtDNA-depleted GBM cells to consistently generate tumors strongly suggests that maintenance of mtDNA copy number is essential for GBM cells to be tumorigenic.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QP Physiology ; RC0254 Neoplasms. Tumors. Oncology (including Cancer)