The team used (MC4R-KO) mice as metabolic liver cancer onset model and performed clustering analysis of surgical specimen from human liver cancers and MC4R-KO mouse liver cancer. Among 9 genes that were commonly and highly expressed in metabolic liver cancer, FABP4 (fatty acid binding protein 4) was specifically overexpressed in intratumorally activated hepatic stellate cells. In human liver cancer, FABP4 expression increases in intratumorally activated hepatic stellate cells as the number of metabolic factors such as obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia increases. it is expected that FABP4 can be used as a new biomarker of metabolic liver cancer and may lead to the development of drugs targeting FABP4.

AMED news release, February 16, 2018