Rewiring Lipid Metabolism by Targeting PCSK9 and HMGCR to Treat Liver Cancer - Inserm - Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale Access content directly
Journal Articles Cancers Year : 2023

Rewiring Lipid Metabolism by Targeting PCSK9 and HMGCR to Treat Liver Cancer

Malak Alannan
Patrick Moreau
Sabrina Lacomme
Etienne Gontier
Aksam Merched
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Alterations in lipid handling are an important hallmark in cancer. Our aim here is to target key metabolic enzymes to reshape the oncogenic lipid metabolism triggering irreversible cell breakdown. We targeted the key metabolic player proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) using a pharmacological inhibitor (R-IMPP) alone or in combination with 3-hydroxy 3-methylglutaryl-Coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) inhibitor, simvastatin. We assessed the effect of these treatments using 3 hepatoma cell lines, Huh6, Huh7 and HepG2 and a tumor xenograft in chicken choriorallantoic membrane (CAM) model. PCSK9 deficiency led to dose-dependent inhibition of cell proliferation in all cell lines and a decrease in cell migration. Co-treatment with simvastatin presented synergetic anti-proliferative effects. At the metabolic level, mitochondrial respiration assays as well as the assessment of glucose and glutamine consumption showed higher metabolic adaptability and surge in the absence of PCSK9. Enhanced lipid uptake and biogenesis led to excessive accumulation of intracellular lipid droplets as revealed by electron microscopy and metabolic tracing. Using xenograft experiments in CAM model, we further demonstrated the effect of anti-PCSK9 treatment in reducing tumor aggressiveness. Targeting PCSK9 alone or in combination with statins deserves to be considered as a new therapeutic option in liver cancer clinical applications.
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inserm-03920600 , version 1 (03-01-2023)



Malak Alannan, Véronique Trézéguet, Nivea Dias Amoêdo, Rodrigue Rossignol, Walid Mahfouf, et al.. Rewiring Lipid Metabolism by Targeting PCSK9 and HMGCR to Treat Liver Cancer. Cancers, 2023, 15 (1), pp.3. ⟨10.3390/cancers15010003⟩. ⟨inserm-03920600⟩


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