Canonical Wnt signaling remodels lipid metabolism in zebrafish hepatocytes following Ras oncogenic insult
There is limited understanding of the effects of major oncogenic pathways and their combinatorial actions on lipid composition and transformation during hepatic tumorigenesis. Here, we report a negative correlation of Wnt/Myc activity with steatosis in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and perform in vivo functional studies using three conditional transgenic zebrafish models. Double-transgenic zebrafish larvae conditionally expressing human CTNNB1 mt and zebrafish tcf7l2 or murine Myc
... r murine Myc together with kras v12 in hepatocytes led to severe hepatomegaly and significantly attenuated accumulation of lipid droplets and cell senescence triggered by kras v12 expression alone. UPLC-MS-based, nontargeted lipidomic profiling and transcriptome analyses revealed that Wnt/Myc activity promotes triacylglycerol to phospholipid transformation and increases unsaturated fatty acyl groups in phospholipids in a Ras-dependent manner. Small-scale screenings suggested that supplementation of certain free fatty acids (FA) or inhibition of FA desaturation significantly represses hepatic hyperplasia of double-transgenic larvae and proliferation of three human HCC cells with and without sorafenib. Together, our studies reveal novel Ras-dependent functions of Wnt signaling in remodeling the lipid metabolism of cancerous hepatocytes in zebrafish and identify the SCD inhibitor MK8245 as a candidate drug for therapeutic intervention.