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A Sweet Connection? Fructose’s Role in Hepatocellular Carcinoma

Molecular and Cell Biology, and The Centre for Molecular Therapeutics, Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University, Townsville QLD 4811, Australia
Storr Liver Centre, Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Westmead Hospital and University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2145, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2020, 10(4), 496;
Received: 22 February 2020 / Revised: 20 March 2020 / Accepted: 23 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Targeting Tumor Metabolism: From Mechanisms to Therapies)
Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of few cancer types that continues to grow in incidence and mortality worldwide. With the alarming increase in diabetes and obesity rates, the higher rates of hepatocellular carcinoma are a result of underlying non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Many have attributed disease progression to an excess consumption of fructose sugar. Fructose has known toxic effects on the liver, including increased fatty acid production, increased oxidative stress, and insulin resistance. These effects have been linked to non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFLD) disease and a progression to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). While the literature suggests fructose may enhance liver cancer progression, the precise mechanisms in which fructose induces tumor formation remains largely unclear. In this review, we summarize the current understanding of fructose metabolism in liver disease and liver tumor development. Furthermore, we consider the latest knowledge of cancer cell metabolism and speculate on additional mechanisms of fructose metabolism in hepatocellular carcinoma. View Full-Text
Keywords: fructose; hepatocellular carcinoma; NAFLD; metabolism; NASH fructose; hepatocellular carcinoma; NAFLD; metabolism; NASH
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dewdney, B.; Roberts, A.; Qiao, L.; George, J.; Hebbard, L. A Sweet Connection? Fructose’s Role in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Biomolecules 2020, 10, 496.

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