Research Papers:

Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission promotes cell proliferation through crosstalk of p53 and NF-κB pathways in hepatocellular carcinoma

Lei Zhan, Haiyan Cao, Gang Wang, Yinghua Lyu, Xiacheng Sun, Jiaze An, Zhenbiao Wu, Qichao Huang, Bingrong Liu and Jinliang Xing _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:65001-65011. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11339

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Lei Zhan1, Haiyan Cao2, Gang Wang2, Yinghua Lyu2, Xiacheng Sun2, Jiaze An3, Zhenbiao Wu4, Qichao Huang2, Bingrong Liu1, Jinliang Xing2

1Department of Gastroenterology, Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, Harbin, 150086, China

2State Key Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Experimental Teaching Center of Basic Medicine, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, 710032, China

3Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, 710032, China

4Department of Clinical Immunology, Xijing Hospital, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, 710032, China

Correspondence to:

Bingrong Liu, email: [email protected]

Jinliang Xing, email: [email protected]

Keywords: mitochondrial dynamics, cell proliferation, liver cancer, p53, NF-κB

Received: April 18, 2016     Accepted: July 28, 2016     Published: August 17, 2016


Mitochondria are highly dynamic and undergo constant fusion and fission that are essential for maintaining physiological functions of cells. Recently, we have reported that increased mitochondrial fission promotes autophagy and apoptosis resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell through ROS-mediated coordinated regulation of NF-κB and p53 pathways. However, little is known about the roles of mitochondrial dynamics in HCC cell proliferation, another key feature of cancer cells. In this study, we systematically investigated the functional role of mitochondrial fission in the regulation of HCC cell proliferation. Furthermore, the underlying molecular mechanisms were deeply explored. We found that, increased mitochondrial fission by forced expression of Drp1 promoted the proliferation of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo mainly by facilitating G1/S phase transition of cell cycle. Whereas, Drp1 knockdown or treatment with mitochondrial division inhibitor-1 induced significant G1 phase arrest in HCC cells and reduced tumor growth in the xenotransplantation model. We further demonstrated that the proliferation-promoting role of Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission was mediated via p53/p21 and NF-κB/cyclins pathways. Moreover, the crosstalk between p53 and NF-κB pathways was proved to be involved in the regulation of mitochondrial fission-mediated cell proliferation. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that Drp1-mediated mitochondrial fission plays a critical role in the regulation of cell cycle progression and HCC cell proliferation. Thus, targeting Drp1-dependent mitochondrial fission may provide a novel strategy for suppressing tumor growth of HCC.

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