Evaluation of AGP Fucosylation as a Marker for Hepatocellular Carcinoma of Three Different Etiologies

Jing Liang, Jianhui Zhu, Mengmeng Wang, Amit G. Singal, Mobolaji Odewole, Sofia Kagan, Veronica Renteria, Suyu Liu, Neehar D. Parikh, David M. Lubman

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19 Scopus citations


A mass spectrometric analysis platform has been developed to determine whether glycosylation patterns of alpha-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP) could be used as a marker for early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in different etiologies, i.e. non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), alcoholic liver disease (ALC), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). MALDI-MS profiling of N-glycans of AGP purified from 20 μL of patient serum in HCC (n = 72) and liver cirrhosis (n = 58) showed that a unique trifucosylated tetra-antennary glycan (m/z 3490.76) was predominantly identified in HCCs but was absent in healthy subjects and the majority of cirrhosis patients. Receiver operation characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that the trifucosylated N-glycan of AGP (triFc_AGP) could differentiate HCC from cirrhosis with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.707, 0.726 and 0.751 for NASH, ALC and HCV, respectively. When combining triFc_AGP with INR and AFP, the panel had the greatest benefit in detection of NASH-related HCCs, with a significantly improved AUC of 0.882 for all NASH HCCs and 0.818 for early NASH HCCs compared to AFP alone (0.761 and 0.641, respectively). Moreover, triFc_AGP could serve as a potential marker for monitoring AFP-negative HCC patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number11580
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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