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The mitochondrial pyruvate carrier in health and disease: To carry or not to carry?

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Review article (peer-reviewed)
Author Bender T,
Project Novel avenues in mitochondrial function and diabetes
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Review article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Biochim Biophys Acta
Page(s) 2436
Title of proceedings Biochim Biophys Acta
DOI 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2016.01.017


Mitochondria play a key role in energy metabolism, hosting the machinery for oxidative phosphorylation, the most efficient cellular pathway for generating ATP. A major checkpoint in this process is the transport of pyruvate produced by cytosolic glycolysis into the mitochondrial matrix, which is accomplished by the recently identified mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC). As the gatekeeper for pyruvate entry into mitochondria, the MPC is thought to be of fundamental importance in establishing the metabolic programming of a cell. This is especially relevant in the context of the aerobic glycolysis, also known as the Warburg effect, which is a hallmark in many types of cancer, and MPC loss of function promotes cancer growth. Moreover, mitochondrial pyruvate uptake is needed for efficient hepatic gluconeogenesis and the regulation of blood glucose levels. In this review we discuss recent advances in our knowledge of the MPC, and we argue that it may offer a promising target in diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes