Dr. Mary Ann Yang
Fibrolamellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma (FL-HCC), a rare primary liver cancer, differs from the most common liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, as FL-HCC is not correlated with chronic liver diseases. Mayo Clinic conducted a proteomic screening and found the proline biosynthetic pathway to be dysregulated in FL-HCC patients. In liver cells, free proline has been shown to induce the mTOR pathway, which stimulates cell proliferation through upregulation of full-length Cyclin E (FL-E). In addition, FL-E can be partially cleaved by an enzyme called serine protease neutrophil elastase, creating low molecular weight cyclin E (LMW-E) that has been linked to tumorigenesis. To further investigate the expression of FL-E and LMW-E; we performed western blot and densitometry analysis in FL-HCC and normal liver samples. Preliminary results found significant differences between the expression of Cyclin E. LMW-E was seen in a higher expression level than the FL-E when comparing FL-HCC samples to the normal liver samples. More experiments are currently underway to further investigate this disparity.