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Open Access Deciphering the Spectrum of Mitochondrial DNA Mutations in Hepatocellular Carcinoma Using High-Throughput Sequencing

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Accumulation of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations has been proposed to contribute to the initiation and progression of tumors. By using high-throughput sequencing strategies, we measured 33 specimens including 11 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) tissues, 11 corresponding adjacent tissues, and 11 normal liver tissues. We identified 194 single nucleotide variants (SNVs; including insert and deletion) in 33 liver tissues, and 13 somatic novel mutations were detected, including 7 mutations in the coding region. One of the seven somatic mutations (T7609C, 91.09%) is synonymous, which does not change amino acid coding; the other four somatic mutations (T6115C, 65.74%; G8387A, 12.23%; G13121A, 93.08%; and T14180C, 28.22%) could result in amino acid substitutions, potentially leading to mitochondrial dysfunction. Furthermore, two mutations in tRNA might influence amino acid transportation. Consistent with a previous study, we also found that mtDNA copy number was significantly reduced in HCC tissues. Therefore, we established a mitochondrial genome depletion cell line ρ0 and revealed that mtDNA loss reduced proliferation and migration in HCC cells but promoted their resistance to 5-fluorouracil. Our results suggested that somatic mtDNA mutations may cause mitochondrial dysfunction and affect chemoresistance of HCC cells. These new identified somatic mutations may serve as a reference for future studies of cancer mitochondrial genomes.
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Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); High-throughput sequencing; Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Liver Surgery, Renji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, P.R. China 2: Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Yuhuangding Hospital, Yantai, Shandong, P.R. China 3: State Key Laboratory of Cell Biology, CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Cell Science, Innovation Center for Cell Signaling Network, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, P.R. China

Publication date: May 18, 2018

This article was made available online on February 20, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "Deciphering the spectrum of Mitochondrial DNA Mutations in Hepatocellular Carcinoma using High throughput Sequencing ----Mitochondrial DNA in Hepatocellular Carcinoma".

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  • Gene Expression, The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression, The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.
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