TRAP1 is an HSP90 chaperone, upregulated in human cancers and involved in organelles’ homeostasis and tumor cell metabolism. Indeed, TRAP1 is a key regulator of adaptive responses used by highly proliferative tumors to face the metabolic stress induced by increased demand of protein synthesis and hostile environments. Besides well-characterized roles in prevention of mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening and in regulating mitochondrial respiration, TRAP1 is involved in novel regulatory mechanisms: i) the attenuation of global protein synthesis, ii) the co-translational regulation of protein synthesis and ubiquitination of specific client proteins, and iii) the protection from Endoplasmic Reticulum stress. This provides a crucial role to TRAP1 in maintaining cellular homeostasis through protein quality control, by avoiding the accumulation of damaged or misfolded proteins and, likely, facilitating the synthesis of selective cancer-related proteins. Herein, we summarize how these regulatory mechanisms are part of an integrated network, which enables cancer cells to modulate their metabolism and to face, at the same time, oxidative and metabolic stress, oxygen and nutrient deprivation, increased demand of energy production and macromolecule biosynthesis. The possibility to undertake a new strategy to disrupt such networks of integrated control in cancer cells holds great promise for treatment of human malignancies.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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