Early Infiltration of Innate Immune Cells to the Liver Depletes HNF4α and Promotes Extrahepatic Carcinogenesis

Omer Goldman, Lital N Adler, Emma Hajaj, Tommaso Croese, Naama Darzi, Sivan Galai, Hila Tishler, Yarden Ariav, Dor Lavie, Liat Fellus-Alyagor, Roni Oren, Yuri Kuznetsov, Eyal David, Rami Jaschek, Chani Stossel, Oded Singer, Sergey Malitsky, Renana Barak, Rony Seger, Neta ErezIdo Amit, Amos Tanay, Ann Saada, Talia Golan, Tamar Rubinek, Joo Sang Lee, Shay Ben-Shachar, Ido Wolf, Ayelet Erez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple studies have identified metabolic changes within the tumor and its microenvironment during carcinogenesis. Yet, the mechanisms by which tumors affect the host metabolism are unclear. We find that systemic inflammation induced by cancer leads to liver infiltration of myeloid cells at early extrahepatic carcinogenesis. The infiltrating immune cells via IL6-pSTAT3 immune-hepatocyte cross-talk cause the depletion of a master metabolic regulator, HNF4α, consequently leading to systemic metabolic changes that promote breast and pancreatic cancer proliferation and a worse outcome. Preserving HNF4α levels maintains liver metabolism and restricts carcinogenesis. Standard liver biochemical tests can identify early metabolic changes and predict patients' outcomes and weight loss. Thus, the tumor induces early metabolic changes in its macroenvironment with diagnostic and potentially therapeutic implications for the host. SIGNIFICANCE: Cancer growth requires a permanent nutrient supply starting from early disease stages. We find that the tumor extends its effect to the host's liver to obtain nutrients and rewires the systemic and tissue-specific metabolism early during carcinogenesis. Preserving liver metabolism restricts tumor growth and improves cancer outcomes. This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1501.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1616-1635
Number of pages20
JournalCancer Discovery
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


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