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Publication Detail
Immunohistochemical staining reveals differential expression of ACSL3 and ACSL4 in hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic gastrointestinal metastases
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
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  • Authors:
    Ndiaye H, Liu J, Hall A, Minogue S, Morgan M, Waugh MG
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  • Journal:
    Bioscience Reports
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  • Keywords:
    fatty acid oxidation, hepatocellular carcinoma, lipid droplets, lipid metabolism
Long-chain fatty acyl CoA synthetases (ACSLs) activate fatty acids by CoA addition thus facilitating their intracellular metabolism. Dysregulated ACSL expression features in several cancers and can affect processes such as ferroptosis, fatty acid β-oxidation, prostaglandin biosynthesis, steroidogenesis and phospholipid acyl chain remodelling. Here we investigate long chain acyl-CoA synthetase 3 (ACSL3) and long chain acyl-CoA synthetase 4 (ACSL4) expression in liver malignancies. The expression and subcellular localisations of the ACSL3 and ACSL4 isoforms in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) and hepatic metastases were assessed by immunohistochemical analyses of multiple tumour tissue arrays and by subcellular fractionation of cultured HepG2 cells. The expression of both enzymes was increased in HCC compared with normal liver. Expression of ACSL3 was similar in HCC and hepatic metastases but lower in healthy tissue. Increased ACSL3 expression distinguished HCC from CCA with a sensitivity of 87.2% and a specificity of 75%. ACSL4 expression was significantly greater in HCC than in all other tumours and distinguished HCC from normal liver tissue with a sensitivity of 93.8% and specificity of 93.6%. Combined ACSL3 and ACSL4 staining scores distinguished HCC from hepatic metastases with 80.1% sensitivity and 77.1% specificity. These enzymes had partially overlapping intracellular distributions, ACSL4 localised to the plasma membrane and both isoforms associated with lipid droplets and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In conclusion, analysis of ACSL3 and ACSL4 expression can distinguish different classes of hepatic tumours.
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