Reducing the expression of a pair of proteins known as NEETs, NAF-1 and mitoNEET, significantly reduced cancer cell proliferation and breast cancer tumor size, according to a new paper.
NEET proteins transport iron molecules or iron sulfur clusters inside cells. The proteins naturally adhere to the outer surface of the mitochondria, the "power plant" that supplies cells with chemical energy. Mitochondria also play a role in a cell's life cycle, including its death.
The new research stemmed from a recent CTBP study of the shape and functions of one of the proteins, mitoNEET. The other protein, NAF-1, is closely related to mitoNEET.