Research Papers:

Metabolomics and eicosanoid analysis identified serum biomarkers for distinguishing hepatocellular carcinoma from hepatitis B virus-related cirrhosis

Zi-Gang Gong, Weijie Zhao, Jianbing Zhang, Xi Wu, Jing Hu, Guo-Chang Yin and Yong-Jiang Xu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:63890-63900. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.19173

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Zhi-Gang Gong1, Weijie Zhao2, Jianbing Zhang2, Xi Wu3, Jing Hu3,4, Guo-Chang Yin1 and Yong-Jiang Xu3,4

1Key Laboratory of Training, Monitoring and Intervention of Aquatic Sports of General Administration of Sport of China, Faculty of Physical Education, Jiangxi Normal University, Nanchang, China

2The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangdong, China

3Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

4Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California, United States

Correspondence to:

Yong-Jiang Xu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: metabolomics, hepatocellular carcinoma, eicosanoid, biomarker, liver cirrhosis

Received: February 06, 2017    Accepted: June 04, 2017    Published: July 10, 2017


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of the most common cancers in the world. It is a type of inflammation-related cancer that usually follows liver hepatitis that mostly caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) in China. However, the metabolism disturbance of HCC and HBV-cirrhosis is not yet fully understood. In addition, there is little research on the relationships between inflammation mediators and HCC. In this study, we investigated serum metabolic abnormalities in HBV-cirrhosis and HCC patients through non-targeted metabolomics and targeted eicosanoid analysis. Metabolomic analysis identified 14 metabolites, i.e. malate, citrate, succinate, lysine, carnitine, proline, ornithine, serine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, arachidonic acid arabinose, galactose and uric acid are consistently altered in HBV-cirrhosis and HCC patients. Meanwhile, eicosanoid analysis uncovered several prostaglandins and leukotrienes are implicated in pathological processes in HBV-cirrhosis and HCC. Finally, these identified biomarkers possessed strong potential to distinguish and diagnose HCC from healthy controls and HBV-cirrhosis patients. This study provided a new perspective to understand the mechanism and discover probable biomarkers of HCC.

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