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Metabolomic Analysis of Liver Tissues for Characterization of Hepatocellular Carcinoma

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journal contribution
posted on 12.06.2019, 00:00 authored by Alessia Ferrarini, Cristina Di Poto, Shisi He, Chao Tu, Rency S. Varghese, Abdalla Kara Balla, Meth Jayatilake, Zhenzhi Li, Kian Ghaffari, Ziling Fan, Zaki A. Sherif, Deepak Kumar, Alexander Kroemer, Mahlet G. Tadesse, Habtom W. Ressom
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) causes more than half a million annual deaths worldwide. Understanding the mechanisms contributing to HCC development is highly desirable for improved surveillance, diagnosis, and treatment. Liver tissue metabolomics has the potential to reflect the physiological changes behind HCC development. Also, it allows identification of biomarker candidates for future evaluation in biofluids and investigation of racial disparities in HCC. Tumor and nontumor tissues from 40 patients were analyzed by both gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) platforms to increase the metabolome coverage. The levels of the metabolites extracted from solid liver tissue of the HCC area and adjacent non-HCC area were compared. Among the analytes detected by GC–MS and LC–MS with significant alterations, 18 were selected based on biological relevance and confirmed metabolite identification. These metabolites belong to TCA cycle, glycolysis, purines, and lipid metabolism and have been previously reported in liver metabolomic studies where high correlation with HCC progression is implied. We demonstrated that metabolites related to HCC pathogenesis can be identified through liver tissue metabolomic analysis. Additionally, this study has enabled us to identify race-specific metabolites associated with HCC.