Metabolomic profiling identifies novel biomarkers and mechanisms in human bladder cancer treated with submucosal injection of gemcitabine.
AbstractBladder cancer (BCa) is a common urinary tract malignancy with frequent recurrences after initial resection. Submucosal injection of gemcitabine prior to transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) may prevent recurrence of urothelial cancer. However, the underlying mechanism remains unknown. In the present study, ultra‑performance liquid chromatography Q‑Exactive mass spectrometry was used to profile tissue metabolites from 12 BCa patients. The 48 samples included pre‑ and post‑gemcitabine treatment BCa tissues, as well as adjacent normal tissues. Principal component analysis (PCA) revealed that the metabolic profiles of pre‑gemcitabine BCa tissues differed significantly from those of pre‑gemcitabine normal tissues. A total of 34 significantly altered metabolites were further analyzed. Pathway analysis using MetaboAnalyst identified three metabolic pathways closely associated with BCa, including glutathione, purine and thiamine metabolism, while glutathione metabolism was also identified by the enrichment analysis using MetaboAnalyst. In search of the possible targets of gemcitabine, metabolite profiles were compared between the pre‑gemcitabine normal and post‑gemcitabine BCa tissues. Among the 34 metabolites associated with BCa, the levels of bilirubin and retinal recovered in BCa tissues treated with gemcitabine. When comparing normal bladder tissues with and without gemcitabine treatment, among the 34 metabolites associated with BCa, it was observed that histamine change may be associated with the prevention of relapse, whereas thiamine change may be involved in possible side effects. Therefore, by employing a hypothesis‑free tissue‑based metabolomics study, the present study investigated the metabolic signatures of BCa and found that bilirubin and retinal may be involved in the mechanism underlying the biomolecular action of submucosal injection of gemcitabine in urothelial BCa.