AbstractsBiology & Animal Science

Metabolic signature of lung cancer: a metabolomic study of human tissues and biofluids; Assinatura metabólica do cancro do pulmão: estudo metabolómico de tecidos e biofluidos humanos

by Cláudia Manuela Rocha

Institution: Universidade de Aveiro
Year: 2015
Keywords: Química; Cancro do pulmão; Metabolismo; Plasma sanguíneo; Ressonância magnética nuclear; lung cancer; metabolomics; metabolic profile; cancer metabolism; tumour tissue; blood plasma; urine; nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy; high resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS); ultra-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS); multivariate analysis (MVA)
Record ID: 1318135
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10773/13957


This thesis reports the application of metabolomics to human tissues and biofluids (blood plasma and urine) to unveil the metabolic signature of primary lung cancer. In Chapter 1, a brief introduction on lung cancer epidemiology and pathogenesis, together with a review of the main metabolic dysregulations known to be associated with cancer, is presented. The metabolomics approach is also described, addressing the analytical and statistical methods employed, as well as the current state of the art on its application to clinical lung cancer studies. Chapter 2 provides the experimental details of this work, in regard to the subjects enrolled, sample collection and analysis, and data processing. In Chapter 3, the metabolic characterization of intact lung tissues (from 56 patients) by proton High Resolution Magic Angle Spinning (HRMAS) Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is described. After careful assessment of acquisition conditions and thorough spectral assignment (over 50 metabolites identified), the metabolic profiles of tumour and adjacent control tissues were compared through multivariate analysis. The two tissue classes could be discriminated with 97% accuracy, with 13 metabolites significantly accounting for this discrimination: glucose and acetate (depleted in tumours), together with lactate, alanine, glutamate, GSH, taurine, creatine, phosphocholine, glycerophosphocholine, phosphoethanolamine, uracil nucleotides and peptides (increased in tumours). Some of these variations corroborated typical features of cancer metabolism (e.g., upregulated glycolysis and glutaminolysis), while others suggested less known pathways (e.g., antioxidant protection, protein degradation) to play important roles. Another major and novel finding described in this chapter was the dependence of this metabolic signature on tumour histological subtype. While main alterations in adenocarcinomas (AdC) related to phospholipid and protein metabolisms, squamous cell carcinomas (SqCC) were found to have stronger glycolytic and glutaminolytic profiles, making it possible to build a valid classification model to discriminate these two subtypes. Chapter 4 reports the NMR metabolomic study of blood plasma from over 100 patients and near 100 healthy controls, the multivariate model built having afforded a classification rate of 87%. The two groups were found to differ significantly in the levels of lactate, pyruvate, acetoacetate, LDL+VLDL lipoproteins and glycoproteins (increased in patients), together with glutamine, histidine, valine, methanol, HDL lipoproteins and two unassigned compounds (decreased in patients). Interestingly, these variations were detected from initial disease stages and the magnitude of some of them depended on the histological type, although not allowing AdC vs. SqCC discrimination. Moreover, it is shown in this chapter that age mismatch between control and cancer groups could not be ruled out as a possible confounding factor, and exploratory external validation afforded a classification rate of 85%. The NMR…