Metabolic Control

Membrane protein signals to mitochondria

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Science  10 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6206, pp. 205-206
DOI: 10.1126/science.346.6206.205-d

Cell adhesion proteins called Fat cadherins control cell growth and tissue organization. Sing et al. now report a new function for Fat cadherins: They launch a signal that helps cells generate energy in the mitochondria. During fly development, an enzyme cuts off the cytoplasmic portion of the large Fat cadherin that spans the cell membrane. Freed from the membrane, this peptide then moves to the mitochondria, where it drives oxidative phosphorylation. These results may provide insight into the role of Fat cadherins in tumors (Fat cadherin 4 is mutated in several human cancers), which require careful metabolic regulation in order to grow.

Cell 10.1016/j.cell.2014.07.036 (2014).

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