1H NMR-Based Metabolic Profiles Delineate the Anticancer Effect of Vitamin C and Oxaliplatin on Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells

Caigui Lin, Jiyang Dong, Zhiliang Wei, Kian Kai Cheng, Jie Li, Song You, Yueyue Liu, Xiaomin Wang, Zhong Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Because of its high recurrence rate and heterogeneity, effective treatment for advanced stage of HCC is currently lacking. There are accumulating evidences showing the therapeutic potential of pharmacologic vitamin C (VC) on HCC. However, the metabolic basis underlying the anticancer property of VC remains to be elucidated. In this study, we used a high-resolution proton nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomics technique to assess the global metabolic changes in HCC cells following VC treatment. In addition, the HCC cells were also treated with oxaliplatin (OXA) to explore the potential synergistic effect induced by the combined VC and OXA treatment. The current metabolomics data suggested different mechanisms of OXA and VC in modulating cell growth and metabolism. In general, VC treatment led to inhibition of energy metabolism via NAD+ depletion and amino acid deprivation. On the other hand, OXA caused significant perturbation in phospholipid biosynthesis and phosphatidylcholine biosynthesis pathways. The current results highlighted glutathione metabolism, and pathways related to succinate and choline may play central roles in conferring the combined effect between OXA and VC. Taken together, this study provided metabolic evidence of VC and OXA in treating HCC and may contribute toward the potential application of combined VC and OXA as complementary HCC therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-793
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of proteome research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 7 2020



  • hepatocellular carcinoma
  • metabolomics
  • NMR
  • oxaliplatin
  • vitamin C

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry(all)

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