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Fat Induces Glucose Metabolism in Nontransformed Liver Cells and Promotes Liver Tumorigenesis

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Hepatic fat accumulation is associated with diabetes and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we characterize the metabolic response that high-fat availability elicits in livers before disease development. After a short term on a high-fat diet (HFD), otherwise healthy mice showed elevated hepatic glucose uptake and increased glucose contribution to serine and pyruvate carboxylase activity compared with control diet (CD) mice. This glucose phenotype occurred independently from transcriptional or proteomic programming, which identifies increased peroxisomal and lipid metabolism pathways. HFD-fed mice exhibited increased lactate production when challenged with glucose. Consistently, administration of an oral glucose bolus to healthy individuals revealed a correlation between waist circumference and lactate secretion in a human cohort. In vitro, palmitate exposure stimulated production of reactive oxygen species and subsequent glucose uptake and lactate secretion in hepatocytes and liver cancer cells. Furthermore, HFD enhanced the formation of HCC compared with CD in mice exposed to a hepatic carcinogen. Regardless of the dietary background, all murine tumors showed similar alterations in glucose metabolism to those identified in fat exposed nontransformed mouse livers, however, particular lipid species were elevated in HFD tumor and nontumor-bearing HFD liver tissue. These findings suggest that fat can induce glucose-mediated metabolic changes in nontransformed liver cells similar to those found in HCC. SIGNIFICANCE: With obesity-induced hepatocellular carcinoma on a rising trend, this study shows in normal, nontransformed livers that fat induces glucose metabolism similar to an oncogenic transformation.
Journal: Cancer Research
ISSN: 0008-5472
Issue: 8
Volume: 81
Pages: 1988 - 2001
Number of pages: 14
Publication year:2021