OXCT1 functions as a succinyltransferase, contributing to hepatocellular carcinoma via succinylating LACTB

Mol Cell. 2024 Feb 1;84(3):538-551.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2023.11.042. Epub 2024 Jan 3.


Metabolic reprogramming is an important feature of cancers that has been closely linked to post-translational protein modification (PTM). Lysine succinylation is a recently identified PTM involved in regulating protein functions, whereas its regulatory mechanism and possible roles in tumor progression remain unclear. Here, we show that OXCT1, an enzyme catalyzing ketone body oxidation, functions as a lysine succinyltransferase to contribute to tumor progression. Mechanistically, we find that OXCT1 functions as a succinyltransferase, with residue G424 essential for this activity. We also identified serine beta-lactamase-like protein (LACTB) as a main target of OXCT1-mediated succinylation. Extensive succinylation of LACTB K284 inhibits its proteolytic activity, resulting in increased mitochondrial membrane potential and respiration, ultimately leading to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression. In summary, this study establishes lysine succinyltransferase function of OXCT1 and highlights a link between HCC prognosis and LACTB K284 succinylation, suggesting a potentially valuable biomarker and therapeutic target for further development.

Keywords: LACTB; OXCT1; hepatocellular carcinoma; succinylation.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Lysine / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mitochondrial Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • beta-Lactamases* / genetics
  • beta-Lactamases* / metabolism


  • beta-Lactamases
  • LACTB protein, human
  • Lysine
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mitochondrial Proteins
  • 3-ketoacid CoA-transferase