Tenofovir hampers the efficacy of sorafenib in prolonging overall survival in hepatocellular carcinoma

Kung Hao Liang*, Sung Fang Chen, Yu Hua Lin, Yu De Chu, Yang Hsiang Lin, Ming Wei Lai, Chih Lang Lin, Chau Ting Yeh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Sorafenib is a first-line treatment for patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These patients may simultaneously receive anti-hepatitis B treatment if they are viremic. The N-Acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 14 (GALNT14) gene can serve as a biomarker to guide HCC treatments. However, the enzyme substrates of its gene product, GalNAc-T14 (a glycosyltransferase), remained uncharacterized. Here, we conducted a glycoproteome-wide search for GalNAc-T14 substrates using lectin affinity chromatography followed by tandem mass spectrometry. Seventeen novel GalNAc-T14 substrates were identified. A connective map analysis showed that an antiviral drug, tenofovir, was the leading medicinal compound to down-regulate the expression of these substrates. In vitro assays showed that HCC cells were resistant to sorafenib if pretreated by tenofovir but not entecavir. Clinical analysis showed that the concomitant use of tenofovir and sorafenib was a previously unrecognized predictive factor for unfavorable overall survival (hazard ratio = 2.060, 95% confidence interval = [1.256, 3.381], p = 0.004) in a cohort of 181 hepatitis-B-related, sorafenib-treated HCC patients (concomitant tenofovir versus entecavir treatment; p = 0.003). In conclusion, by conducting a glycoproteome-wide search for GalNAc-T14 substrates, we unexpectedly found that tenofovir was a major negative regulator of GalNAc-T14 substrates and an unfavorable anti-hepatitis B drug in HCC patients receiving sorafenib.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1539
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov


  • Drug-drug interactions
  • Entecavir
  • Glycoproteome
  • Hepatitis B
  • Targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology


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