Progetto di ricerca

MFAG, Rif. 20316- The F-ATP synthase inhibitor IF1 binds to a novel site and promotes tumorigenesis: displacement as anticancer strategy . (DSB.AD001.109)

Area tematica

Scienze biomediche

Area progettuale

Oncologia e Immunologia (DSB.AD001)

Struttura responsabile del progetto di ricerca

Istituto di neuroscienze (IN)

Responsabile di progetto

Telefono: 049 8276361


F-ATP synthase is a large multisubunit complex located in the inner mitochondrial membrane. We have recently discovered that
this enzyme, which synthesizes ATP in energized mitochondria, under conditions of oxidative stress and Ca2+ overload forms
the Permeability Transition Pore (PTP), a channel whose opening can cause cell death. The inhibitor protein IF1 binds to, and
blocks F-ATP synthase during ATP hydrolysis. Interestingly, IF1 has been associated to tumorigenic growth as it is
overexpressed in glioma, colon, lung and breast cancers. Evidence exists to suggest that IF1 causes a shift to Warburg
metabolism during neoplastic growth by inhibiting ATP synthesis, a finding that would imply the existence of a second, hitherto
unidentified binding site on F-ATP synthase. The most plausible candidate is the OSCP subunit, a key modulator site of the PTP
that was shown to interact with the C- terminus of IF1 in vitro. Whether IF1 binding to F-ATP synthase modulates the PTP has
never been addressed.


We hope to identify (i) a novel IF1 binding site on F-ATP synthase which is involved in cancer growth through its PTP
inhibitory effect; (ii) new targeted molecules, able to displace IF1 from its binding site, that are effective in preventing
tumorigenic growth; (iii) drugs effective in vivo in counteracting neoplastic formations.

Data inizio attività


Parole chiave

Mitochondria, Apoptosis, Biochemistry

Ultimo aggiornamento: 22/02/2024