An in vivo study into the metabolic reprogramming of hepatocellular carcinoma
The present work evaluates the role of metabolism in development and progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study focuses on changes of central metabolic pathways, including glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and other processes involved in cellular metabolism and known to be dysregulated during cancer formation. Comprehensive multiomics analyses, such as proteomics, metabolomics and targeted genome sequencing, were applied in order to better understand HCC
... tter understand HCC developmental mechanisms in vivo. Two main systems were studied: the ASV-B mouse model and clinical samples from human patients. The human cohort was composed of biopsy and surgery material from 95 patients: 47 HCC and 48 non-HCC. Proteomic data from both mice and humans show a clear downregulation of the main energy-producing pathways in HCC. Glycogen metabolism, de novo glucose synthesis, glutamine uptake to the TCA cycle, approximately 60% of enzymes of TCA cycle, and transport of pyruvate to mitochondria are downregulated in HCC. An isoform switch at various levels of central carbon metabolism was demonstrated in this work. Both mice and humans with HCC reveal isoform switches at the level of phosphoglycerate mutases and pyruvate kinases. The key features are found in both mouse and human, showing a universal metabolic HCC fingerprint. This study also demonstrates that proteomic analysis of the bioptate material is a strong and sufficient molecular diagnostic tool for research in cancer: the proteomic analysis of liver material allows the distinction of tumor samples from non-tumor samples and also to track the level of disease progression. Targeted genome sequencing revealed that no clear distinction between cancer and precancerous conditions could be made exclusively from the mutation analysis. Human metabolomic data remains inconclusive, possibly due to the different sources of tissue samples.