Myc Regulation of a Mitochondrial Trafficking Network Mediates Tumor Cell Invasion and Metastasis [Research Article]

The Myc gene is a universal oncogene that promotes aggressive cancer, but its role in metastasis has remained elusive. Here, we show that Myc transcriptionally controls a gene network of subcellular mitochondrial trafficking that includes the atypical mitochondrial GTPases RHOT1 and RHOT2, the adapter protein TRAK2, the anterograde motor Kif5B, and an effector of mitochondrial fission, Drp1. Interference with this pathway deregulates mitochondrial dynamics, shuts off subcellular organelle movements, and prevents the recruitment of mitochondria to the cortical cytoskeleton of tumor cells. In turn, this inhibits tumor chemotaxis, blocks cell invasion, and prevents metastatic spreading in preclinical models. Therefore, Myc regulation of mitochondrial trafficking enables tumor cell motility and metastasis.

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