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Mitochondrial hexokinase association a major determinant of cell death in both cancer and cardiac pathology

Posted by CJZuurbier on 25 Mar 2008 at 15:40 GMT

The article by Chiara and co-workers underlines the general importance of HK binding to mitochondria in the cellular fight against cell death. This may be the mechanism whereby cancer and cardiac diseases come together: We previously showed that many cardioprotective interventions (preconditioning, insulin, morphine) indeed all increase HK association with mitochondria (Zuurbier CJ et al, Am J Physiol 289:H496-499, 2005).
Being a general mechanism for both cancer and cardioprotection, there is the risk that combating the one (e.g. cancer) will increase the incidence of the other (cardiac diseases) and vice versa. Further research will have to take this into account.
For now, the authors are to be congratulated on elucidating in great detail in different models the mechanism whereby HK II detachment from the mitochondria induces cell death.