Fatty liver disease induced by perfluorooctane sulfonate: Novel insight from transcriptome analysis

William K F TSE, Jing Woei Li, Anna Chung Kwan Tse, Ting Fung Chan, Jeff Cheuk Hin Ho, Rudolf Shiu Sun Wu, Chris K C WONG, Keng Po Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), a hepato-toxicant and potential non-genotoxic carcinogen, was widely used in industrial and commercial products. Recent studies have revealed the ubiquitous occurrence of PFOS in the environment and in humans worldwide. The widespread contamination of PFOS in human serum raised concerns about its long-term toxic effects and its potential risks to human health. Using fatty liver mutant foie gras (fgr-/-)/transport protein particle complex 11 (trappc11-/-) and PFOS-exposed wild-type zebrafish embryos as the study model, together with RNA sequencing and comparative transcriptomic analysis, we identified 499 and 1414 differential expressed genes (DEGs) in PFOS-exposed wild-type and trappc11 mutant zebrafish, respectively. Also, the gene ontology analysis on common deregulated genes was found to be associated with different metabolic processes such as the carbohydrate metabolic process, glycerol ether metabolic process, mannose biosynthetic process, de novo' (Guanosine diphosphate) GDP-l-fucose biosynthetic process, GDP-mannose metabolic process and galactose metabolic process. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis further highlighted that these deregulated gene clusters are closely related to hepatitis, inflammation, fibrosis and cirrhosis of liver cells, suggesting that PFOS can cause liver pathogenesis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in zebrafish. The transcriptomic alterations revealed may serve as biomarkers for the hepatotoxic effect of PFOS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-177
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

User-Defined Keywords

  • Environmental pollutant
  • Hepatotoxicity
  • Perfluorooctane sulfonate
  • Transcriptome
  • Zebrafish


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