Orlistat Resensitizes Sorafenib-Resistance in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells through Modulating Metabolism

Pei Wei Shueng, Hui Wen Chan, Wei Chan Lin, Deng Yu Kuo*, Hui Yen Chuang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sorafenib is one of the options for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma treatment and has been shown to extend median overall survival. However, sorafenib resistance often develops a few months after treatment. Hence, developing various strategies to overcome sorafenib resistance and understand the possible mechanisms is urgently needed. We first established sorafenib-resistant hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells. Then, we found that sorafenib-resistant Huh7 cells (Huh7/SR) exhibit higher glucose uptakes and express elevated fatty acid synthesis and glucose metabolism-related proteins than their parental counterparts (Huh7). The current study investigated whether sorafenib resistance could be reversed by suppressing fatty acid synthesis, using a fatty acid synthase (FASN) inhibitor, orlistat, in HCC cells. FASN inhibition-caused changes in protein expressions and cell cycle distribution were analyzed by Western blot and flow cytometry, and changes in glucose uptakes were also evaluated by18 F-FDG uptake. Orlistat remarkably enhanced the cytotoxicity of sorafenib in both Huh7 and Huh7/SR cells, and flow cytometry showed that combination treatment significantly increased the sub-G1 population in both cell lines. Western blot revealed that the combination treatment effectively increased the ratio of Bax/Bcl-2 and decreased expressions of pERK; additionally, the combination treatment also strongly suppressed fatty acid synthesis-related proteins (e.g., FASN and SCD) in both cell lines. Lastly, the18 F-FDG uptake was repressed by the combination treatment in both cell lines. Our results indicated that orlistat-mediated FASN inhibition could overcome sorafenib resistance and enhance cell killing in HCC by changing cell metabolism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6501
JournalInternational Journal Of Molecular Sciences
Volume23
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022

Keywords

  • fatty acid synthase
  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • metabolism
  • sorafenib resistance

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