New Study Highlights Role of Mitochondria in Connecting Cancer to Dietary Fat

A research study published in the “Seminars in Cancer Biology journal has revealed that mitochondria may play a key role in the relationship between the development of cancer and dietary fats. The study pointed to new factors that may play a role in the development and progression of medical conditions such as cancer.

Interestingly, researchers found that mitochondria, organelles that produce energy for cells, may influence the link between cancer development and dietary fats. On top of sustaining a living organism, diet is also majorly responsible for their quality of life, particularly their susceptibility to various diseases and their ability to fight off infections.

While numerous studies have confirmed that diet is a key factor in the onset plus development of oncological diseases, the recent paper points to mitochondria as a key player in cancer progression. As they do in normal cells, mitochondria are responsible for generating energy for cancer cells. However, while mitochondria in healthy cells produce energy by using glycolysis to generate ATP, cancer cell mitochondria generate energy through both glycolysis and the lower capacity process of oxidative phosphorylation.

Previous studies have found that high-fat diets are a potential risk factor for breast cancer as fat tissue produces significant levels of estrogen, which has been associated with increased breast cancer risk.

The recent study adds to this body of research by providing evidence of the role lipid metabolism and signaling play in cancer cell biology. As lipid metabolism is especially important in the initial carcinogenesis stages, cancer cells leverage two processes called De novo lipogenesis and exogenous lipid uptake as a source of lipids. Cancer cells have also been found to have a heightened ability to use these processes to fuel their proliferation, allowing them to get a constant source of the lipids they need to grow and spread.

The researchers also sought to expand their understanding of the links between cancer cells and dietary lipids by studying the metabolome. This refers to the quantitative and qualitative collection of metabolites (low-molecular-weight molecules) inside a cell that participate in general metabolic reactions and are key to the cell’s maintenance, growth and normal functioning.

Since this collection of metabolites also reflects the biochemical and functional changes in pathologies such as cancer, researchers can use the data to identify specific biomarkers and inform their efforts to develop novel cancer therapies.

The efforts of companies such as Clene Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN) aimed at finding ways to maintain or support mitochondrial health could go a long way in addressing some of the dysfunctions that allow malignancies to develop or progress more aggressively.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Clene Inc. (NASDAQ: CLNN) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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