The development of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has been found to be associated with disturbed lipid metabolism. To elucidate the role of lipid metabolism in HBV tumorigenesis, we investigated the dynamic pattern of lipid metabolism in HBV pre-S2 mutant-induced tumorigenesis. Lipid and gene expression profiles were analyzed in an in vitro culture system and in transgenic mouse livers harboring HBV pre-S2 mutant. The pre-S2 mutant transgenic livers showed a biphasic pattern of lipid accumulation, starting from mild fatty change in early (1 month) transgenic livers, which subsided and then, remarkably, increased in HCC tissues. This biphasic pattern was synchronized with ATP citrate lyase (ACLY) activation. Further analyses revealed that the pre-S2 mutant initiated an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-dependent mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling cascade. The pre-S2 mutant-induced mTOR signal activated the sterol regulatory element binding transcription factor 1 (SREBF1) to upregulate ACLY, which then activated the fatty acid desaturase 2 (FADS2), mediated through ACLY-dependent histone acetylation. Such an ER stress-dependent mTOR signal cascade also is important for the proliferation of hepatocytes in vitro and is further validated in HBV-related HCC tissues.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes