Ha-ras and β-catenin oncoproteins orchestrate metabolic programs in mouse liver tumors

Int J Cancer. 2014 Oct 1;135(7):1574-85. doi: 10.1002/ijc.28798. Epub 2014 Mar 3.


The process of hepatocarcinogenesis in the diethylnitrosamine (DEN) initiation/phenobarbital (PB) promotion mouse model involves the selective clonal outgrowth of cells harboring oncogene mutations in Ctnnb1, while spontaneous or DEN-only-induced tumors are often Ha-ras- or B-raf-mutated. The molecular mechanisms and pathways underlying these different tumor sub-types are not well characterized. Their identification may help identify markers for xenobiotic promoted versus spontaneously occurring liver tumors. Here, we have characterized mouse liver tumors harboring either Ctnnb1 or Ha-ras mutations via integrated molecular profiling at the transcriptional, translational and post-translational levels. In addition, metabolites of the intermediary metabolism were quantified by high resolution (1)H magic angle nuclear magnetic resonance. We have identified tumor genotype-specific differences in mRNA and miRNA expression, protein levels, post-translational modifications, and metabolite levels that facilitate the molecular and biochemical stratification of tumor phenotypes. Bioinformatic integration of these data at the pathway level led to novel insights into tumor genotype-specific aberrant cell signaling and in particular to a better understanding of alterations in pathways of the cell intermediary metabolism, which are driven by the constitutive activation of the β-Catenin and Ha-ras oncoproteins in tumors of the two genotypes.

Keywords: Ha-ras; microarray; mouse hepatoma; tumor metabolism; β-Catenin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Blotting, Western
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Genes, ras / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / genetics*
  • Liver Neoplasms, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Metabolomics*
  • Mice
  • MicroRNAs / genetics
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • beta Catenin / genetics*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • MicroRNAs
  • RNA, Messenger
  • beta Catenin