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Metabolomic Reprogramming Detected by 1H-NMR Spectroscopy in Human Thyroid Cancer Tissues.

  • Author(s): Metere, Alessio;
  • Graves, Claire E;
  • Chirico, Mattea;
  • Caramujo, Maria José;
  • Pisanu, Maria Elena;
  • Iorio, Egidio
  • et al.
Abstract

Thyroid cancer cells demonstrate an increase in oxidative stress and decreased antioxidant action, but the effects of this increased oxidative stress on cell function remain unknown. We aimed to identify changes in the metabolism of thyroid cancer cells caused by oxidative stress, using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H-NMR) spectroscopy. Samples of thyroid cancer and healthy thyroid tissue were collected from patients undergoing thyroidectomy and analyzed with 1H-NMR spectroscopy for a wide array of metabolites. We found a significant increase in lactate content in thyroid cancer tissue compared to healthy tissue. Metabolomic analysis demonstrated significant differences between cancer tissue and healthy tissue, including an increase in aromatic amino acids, and an average decrease in citrate in thyroid cancer tissue. We hypothesize that these changes in metabolism may be due to an oxidative stress-related decrease in activity of the Krebs cycle, and a shift towards glycolysis in cancer tissue. Thus, thyroid cancer cells are able to reprogram their metabolic activity to survive in conditions of high oxidative stress and with a compromised antioxidant system. Our findings, for the first time, suggested a connection between oxidative stress and the alteration of the metabolic profile in thyroid tumors.

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