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NASH, Fibrosis and Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Lipid Synthesis and Glutamine/Acetate Signaling

Authors
  • Sunami, Yoshiaki
Type
Published Article
Journal
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publisher
MDPI AG
Publication Date
Sep 16, 2020
Volume
21
Issue
18
Identifiers
DOI: 10.3390/ijms21186799
PMID: 32947972
PMCID: PMC7555727
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Primary liver cancer is predicted to be the sixth most common cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. Recent studies identified nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as the underlying cause in 13–38.2% of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma unrelated to viral hepatitis and alcohol abuse. NAFLD progresses to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which increases the risk for the development of liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. NAFLD is characterized by dysregulation of lipid metabolism. In addition, lipid metabolism is effected not only in NAFLD, but also in a broad range of chronic liver diseases and tumor development. Cancer cells manipulate a variety of metabolic pathways, including lipid metabolism, in order to build up their own cellular components. Identifying tumor dependencies on lipid metabolism would provide options for novel targeting strategies. This review article summarizes the research evidence on metabolic reprogramming and focuses on lipid metabolism in NAFLD, NASH, fibrosis, and cancer. As alternative routes of acetyl-CoA production for fatty acid synthesis, topics on glutamine and acetate metabolism are included. Further, studies on small compound inhibitors targeting lipid metabolism are discussed. Understanding reprogramming strategies in liver diseases, as well as the visualization of the metabolism reprogramming networks, could uncover novel therapeutic options.

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