Glypican-3 Enhances Reprogramming of Glucose Metabolism in Liver Cancer Cells

Gebing Yao, Jikai Yin, Qing Wang, Rui Dong, Jianguo Lu, Guoku Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Glypican-3(GPC3) is a transmembrane protein which has been found to be frequently overexpressed on the surfaces of liver cancer (LC) cells, which contributes to both the growth and metastasis of LC cells. Recently, the expression of GPC3 has been reported to be inversely associated with glucose metabolism activity in LC patients, suggesting that GPC3 may play a role in the regulation of glucose metabolism in LC. However, the role of GPC3 in glucose metabolism reprogramming, as well as in LC cell growth and metastasis, is unknown. Here, we found that GPC3 significantly contributed to the reprogramming of glucose metabolism in LC cells. On the one hand, GPC3 enhanced the glycolysis of LC cells through upregulation of the glycolytic genes of Glut1, HK2, and LDH-A. On the other hand, GPC3 repressed mitochondrial respiration through downregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α), which has been well known as a crucial regulator in mitochondrial biogenesis. Mechanistic investigations revealed that HIF-1α was involved in both GPC3-regulated upregulation of glycolytic genes of HK2, PKM2, and Glut1 and downregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis regulator PGC-1α in LC cells. Additionally, GPC3-regulated reprogramming of glucose metabolism played a critical role in the growth and metastasis of LC cells. Conclusion. Our findings demonstrate that GPC3 is a critical regulator of glucose metabolism reprogramming in LC cells, which provides a strong line of evidence for GPC3 as an important therapeutic target to normalize glucose metabolic aberrations responsible for LC progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2560650
JournalBioMed research international
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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