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PloS one

GC-MS Based Plasma Metabolomics for Identification of Candidate Biomarkers for Hepatocellular Carcinoma in Egyptian Cohort.


PMID 26030804

Abstract

This study evaluates changes in metabolite levels in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cases vs. patients with liver cirrhosis by analysis of human blood plasma using gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Untargeted metabolomic analysis of plasma samples from participants recruited in Egypt was performed using two GC-MS platforms: a GC coupled to single quadruple mass spectrometer (GC-qMS) and a GC coupled to a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (GC-TOFMS). Analytes that showed statistically significant changes in ion intensities were selected using ANOVA models. These analytes and other candidates selected from related studies were further evaluated by targeted analysis in plasma samples from the same participants as in the untargeted metabolomic analysis. The targeted analysis was performed using the GC-qMS in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. The method confirmed significant changes in the levels of glutamic acid, citric acid, lactic acid, valine, isoleucine, leucine, alpha tocopherol, cholesterol, and sorbose in HCC cases vs. patients with liver cirrhosis. Specifically, our findings indicate up-regulation of metabolites involved in branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism. Although BCAAs are increasingly used as a treatment for cancer cachexia, others have shown that BCAA supplementation caused significant enhancement of tumor growth via activation of mTOR/AKT pathway, which is consistent with our results that BCAAs are up-regulated in HCC.

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