The mitochondrial type IB topoisomerase drives mitochondrial translation and carcinogenesis

S. A. Baechler, V. M. Factor, I. Dalla Rosa, A. Ravji, D. Becker, S. Khiati, L. M. Miller Jenkins, M. Lang, C. Sourbier, S. A. Michaels, L. M. Neckers, H. L. Zhang, A. Spinazzola, S. N. Huang, J. U. Marquardt, Y. Pommier*

*Corresponding author for this work
12 Citations (Scopus)


Mitochondrial topoisomerase IB (TOP1MT) is a nuclear-encoded topoisomerase, exclusively localized to mitochondria, which resolves topological stress generated during mtDNA replication and transcription. Here, we report that TOP1MT is overexpressed in cancer tissues and demonstrate that TOP1MT deficiency attenuates tumor growth in human and mouse models of colon and liver cancer. Due to their mitochondrial dysfunction, TOP1MT-KO cells become addicted to glycolysis, which limits synthetic building blocks and energy supply required for the proliferation of cancer cells in a nutrient-deprived tumor microenvironment. Mechanistically, we show that TOP1MT associates with mitoribosomal subunits, ensuring optimal mitochondrial translation and assembly of oxidative phosphorylation complexes that are critical for sustaining tumor growth. The TOP1MT genomic signature profile, based on Top1mt-KO liver cancers, is correlated with enhanced survival of hepatocellular carcinoma patients. Our results highlight the importance of TOP1MT for tumor development, providing a potential rationale to develop TOP1MT-targeted drugs as anticancer therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number83
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2019


Dive into the research topics of 'The mitochondrial type IB topoisomerase drives mitochondrial translation and carcinogenesis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this