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J Hepatol. 2013 Feb;58(2):350-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2012.09.030. Epub 2012 Oct 6.

Molecular characterization of hepatocellular adenomas developed in patients with glycogen storage disease type I.

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Inserm, UMR-674, Génomique fonctionnelle des tumeurs solides, IUH, F-75010 Paris, France.



Hepatocellular adenomas (HCA) are benign liver tumors mainly related to oral contraception and classified into 4 molecular subgroups: inflammatory (IHCA), HNF1A-inactivated (H-HCA), β-catenin-activated (bHCA) or unclassified (UHCA). Glycogen storage disease type I (GSD) is a rare hereditary metabolic disease that predisposes to HCA development. The aim of our study was to characterize the molecular profile of GSD-associated HCA.


We characterized a series of 25 HCAs developed in 15 patients with GSD by gene expression and DNA sequence of HNF1A, CTNNB1, IL6ST, GNAS, and STAT3 genes. Moreover, we searched for glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, and fatty acid synthesis alterations in GSD non-tumor livers and compared our results to those observed in a series of sporadic H-HCA and various non-GSD liver samples.


GSD adenomas were classified as IHCA (52%) mutated for IL6ST or GNAS, bHCA (28%) or UHCA (20%). In contrast, no HNF1A inactivation was observed, showing a different molecular subtype distribution in GSD-associated HCA from that observed in sporadic HCA (p = 0.0008). In non-tumor GSD liver samples, we identified glycolysis and fatty acid synthesis activation with gluconeogenesis repression. Interestingly, this gene expression profile was similar to that observed in sporadic H-HCA.


Our study showed a particular molecular profile in GSD-related HCA characterized by a lack of HNF1A inactivation. This exclusion could be explained by similar metabolic defects observed with HNF1A inactivation and glucose-6-phosphatase deficiency. Inversely, the high frequency of β-catenin mutations could be related to the increased frequency of malignant transformation in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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