A critical reassessment of the role of mitochondria in tumorigenesis

Salas, A., Yao, Y.G., Macaulay, V. , Vega, A., Carracedo, A. and Bandelt, H.J. (2005) A critical reassessment of the role of mitochondria in tumorigenesis. PLoS Medicine, 2(11), e296. (doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020296)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0020296


<p><b>Background:</b> Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is being analyzed by an increasing number of laboratories in order to investigate its potential role as an active marker of tumorigenesis in various types of cancer. Here we question the conclusions drawn in most of these investigations, especially those published in high-rank cancer research journals, under the evidence that a significant number of these medical mtDNA studies are based on obviously flawed sequencing results.</p> <p><b>Methods and Findings:</b> In our analyses, we take a phylogenetic approach and employ thorough database searches, which together have proven successful for detecting erroneous sequences in the fields of human population genetics and forensics. Apart from conceptual problems concerning the interpretation of mtDNA variation in tumorigenesis, in most cases, blocks of seemingly somatic mutations clearly point to contamination or sample mix-up and, therefore, have nothing to do with tumorigenesis.</p> <p><b>Conclusion:</b> The role of mitochondria in tumorigenesis remains unclarified. Our findings of laboratory errors in many contributions would represent only the tip of the iceberg since most published studies do not provide the raw sequence data for inspection, thus hindering a posteriori evaluation of the results. There is no precedent for such a concatenation of errors and misconceptions affecting a whole subfield of medical research.</p>

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Macaulay, Dr Vincent
Authors: Salas, A., Yao, Y.G., Macaulay, V., Vega, A., Carracedo, A., and Bandelt, H.J.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Statistics
Journal Name:PLoS Medicine
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1549-1676
Published Online:04 October 2005
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2005 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS Medicine 2(11):e296
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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