FCF Funded Projects

Development of a human-derived liver progenitor cell line with DNAJB1-PRKACA fusion gene and characterization of mitochondrial dynamics in fibrolamellar carcinoma

Status: Active

Timeframe: 2022 – 2023

Goal: Development of a novel human-derived liver progenitor cell line model of fibrolamellar carcinoma

Principal Investigator: Khashayar Vakili, MD, Surgical Director of Liver, Kidney, Intestine, and Multivisceral Transplant Programs, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School

Currently, very few cell-line models of FLC exist, so the development of additional cellular models is critical for the identification and testing of new therapies. Therefore, one of the aims of this proposal is to engineer normal liver cells in culture to express the DNAJB1-PRKACA gene fusion. This will be a novel model, which can provide insight into the mechanism of cancer development in addition to providing a platform for screening new therapeutic compounds. The second aim of this proposal is to assess the role of the mitochondria in FLC. Mitochondria are structures within cells that provide energy to the cells in addition to other vital functions. Mitochondria have been shown to develop abnormal characteristics in various types of cancers – leading to the hypothesis that they play a critical role in cancer survival and progression. Currently, there is very limited data available about the characteristics and role of mitochondria in FLC.