Friend or foe? Mitochondria as a pharmacological target in cancer treatment

Tyler Dickerson, Catherine E. Jauregui, Yong Teng

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Mitochondria have acquired numerous functions over the course of evolution, such as those involved in controlling energy production, cellular metabolism, cell survival, apoptosis and autophagy within host cells. Tumor cells can develop defects in mitochondrial function, presenting a potential strategy for designing selective anticancer therapies. Therefore, cancer has been the main focus of recent research to uncover possible mitochondrial targets for therapeutic benefit. This comprehensive review covers not only the recent discoveries of the roles of mitochondria in cancer development, progression and therapeutic implications but also the findings regarding emerging mitochondrial therapeutic targets and mitochondria-targeted agents. Current challenges and future directions for developments and applications of mitochondrial-targeted therapeutics are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2197-2210
Number of pages14
JournalFuture Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • ATAD3A
  • anticancer strategy
  • cancer
  • mitochondria
  • mitochondrial targets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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