Hepatosteatosis is characterized by an aberrant accumulation of triglycerides in the liver; however, the factors that drive obesity-induced fatty liver remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrated that the secreted cell adhesion protein periostin is markedly upregulated in livers of obese rodents and humans. Notably, overexpression of periostin in the livers of WT mice promoted hepatic steatosis and hypertriglyceridemia. Conversely, both genetic ablation of periostin and administration of a periostin-neutralizing antibody dramatically improved hepatosteatosis and hypertriglyceridemia in obese mice. Overexpression of periostin resulted in reduced expression of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor α (PPARα), a master regulator of fatty acid oxidation, and activation of the JNK signaling pathway. In mouse primary hepatocytes, inhibition of α6β4 integrin prevented activation of JNK and suppression of PPARα in response to periostin. Periostin-dependent activation of JNK resulted in activation of c-Jun, which prevented RORα binding and transactional activation at the
Yan Lu, Xing Liu, Yang Jiao, Xuelian Xiong, E Wang, Xiaolin Wang, Zhijian Zhang, Huijie Zhang, Lingling Pan, Youfei Guan, Dongsheng Cai, Guang Ning, Xiaoying Li
The MAP kinase kinase kinase TGFβ-activated kinase 1 (TAK1) is activated by TLRs, IL-1, TNF, and TGFβ and in turn activates IKK-NF-κB and JNK, which regulate cell survival, growth, tumorigenesis, and metabolism. TAK1 signaling also upregulates AMPK activity and autophagy. Here, we investigated TAK1-dependent regulation of autophagy, lipid metabolism, and tumorigenesis in the liver. Fasted mice with hepatocyte-specific deletion of
Sayaka Inokuchi-Shimizu, Eek Joong Park, Yoon Seok Roh, Ling Yang, Bi Zhang, Jingyi Song, Shuang Liang, Michael Pimienta, Koji Taniguchi, Xuefeng Wu, Kinji Asahina, William Lagakos, Mason R. Mackey, Shizuo Akira, Mark H. Ellisman, Dorothy D. Sears, Jerrold M. Olefsky, Michael Karin, David A. Brenner, Ekihiro Seki
A precise equilibrium between cellular differentiation and proliferation is fundamental for tissue homeostasis. Maintaining this balance is particularly important for the liver, a highly differentiated organ with systemic metabolic functions that is endowed with unparalleled regenerative potential. Carcinogenesis in the liver develops as the result of hepatocellular de-differentiation and uncontrolled proliferation. Here, we identified
María Elizalde, Raquel Urtasun, María Azkona, María U. Latasa, Saioa Goñi, Oihane García-Irigoyen, Iker Uriarte, Victor Segura, María Collantes, Mariana Di Scala, Amaia Lujambio, Jesús Prieto, Matías A. Ávila, Carmen Berasain
Transcriptional coregulators are important components of nuclear receptor (NR) signaling machinery and provide additional mechanisms for modulation of NR activity. Expression of a mutated nuclear corepressor 1 (NCoR1) that lacks 2 NR interacting domains (NCoRΔID) in the liver leads to elevated expression of genes regulated by thyroid hormone receptor (TR) and liver X receptor (LXR), both of which control hepatic cholesterol metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that expression of NCoRΔID in mouse liver improves dietary cholesterol tolerance in an LXRα-independent manner. NCoRΔID-associated cholesterol tolerance was primarily due to diminished intestinal cholesterol absorption as the result of changes in the composition and hydrophobicity of the bile salt pool. Alterations of the bile salt pool were mediated by increased expression of genes encoding the bile acid metabolism enzymes CYP27A1 and CYP3A11 as well as canalicular bile salt pump ABCB11. We have determined that these genes are regulated by thyroid hormone and that TRβ1 is recruited to their regulatory regions. Together, these data indicate that interactions between NCoR1 and TR control a specific pathway involved in regulation of cholesterol metabolism and clearance.
Inna Astapova, Preeti Ramadoss, Ricardo H. Costa-e-Sousa, Felix Ye, Kaila A. Holtz, Yingxia Li, Michele W. Niepel, David E. Cohen, Anthony N. Hollenberg
Understanding the molecular pathogenesis of inflammatory liver disease is essential to design efficient therapeutic approaches. In hepatocytes, the dimeric transcription factor c-JUN/AP-1 is a major mediator of cell survival during hepatitis, although functions for other JUN proteins in liver disease are less defined. Here, we found that JUNB was specifically expressed in human and murine immune cells during acute liver injury. We analyzed the molecular function of JUNB in experimental models of hepatitis, including administration of concanavalin A (ConA) or α-galactosyl-ceramide, which induce liver inflammation and injury. Mice specifically lacking JUNB in hepatocytes displayed a mild increase in ConA-induced liver damage. However, targeted deletion of
Martin K. Thomsen, Latifa Bakiri, Sebastian C. Hasenfuss, Rainer Hamacher, Lola Martinez, Erwin F. Wagner
When regenerative processes cannot keep pace with cell death, functional epithelia are replaced by scar. Scarring is characterized by both excessive accumulation of fibrous matrix and persistent outgrowth of cell types that accumulate transiently during successful wound healing, including myofibroblasts (MFs) and progenitors. This suggests that signaling that normally directs these cells to repair injured epithelia is deregulated. To evaluate this possibility, we examined liver repair during different types of liver injury after Smoothened (SMO), an obligate intermediate in the Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway, was conditionally deleted in cells expressing the MF-associated gene, α
Gregory A. Michelotti, Guanhua Xie, Marzena Swiderska, Steve S. Choi, Gamze Karaca, Leandi Krüger, Richard Premont, Liu Yang, Wing-Kin Syn, Daniel Metzger, Anna Mae Diehl
Patients with cholestatic disease exhibit pruritus and analgesia, but the mechanisms underlying these symptoms are unknown. We report that bile acids, which are elevated in the circulation and tissues during cholestasis, cause itch and analgesia by activating the GPCR TGR5. TGR5 was detected in peptidergic neurons of mouse dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord that transmit itch and pain, and in dermal macrophages that contain opioids. Bile acids and a TGR5-selective agonist induced hyperexcitability of dorsal root ganglia neurons and stimulated the release of the itch and analgesia transmitters gastrin-releasing peptide and leucine-enkephalin. Intradermal injection of bile acids and a TGR5-selective agonist stimulated scratching behavior by gastrin-releasing peptide– and opioid-dependent mechanisms in mice. Scratching was attenuated in
Farzad Alemi, Edwin Kwon, Daniel P. Poole, TinaMarie Lieu, Victoria Lyo, Fiore Cattaruzza, Ferda Cevikbas, Martin Steinhoff, Romina Nassini, Serena Materazzi, Raquel Guerrero-Alba, Eduardo Valdez-Morales, Graeme S. Cottrell, Kristina Schoonjans, Pierangelo Geppetti, Stephen J. Vanner, Nigel W. Bunnett, Carlos U. Corvera
A genetic variant in PNPLA3 (PNPLA3I148M), a triacylglycerol (TAG) hydrolase, is a major risk factor for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); however, the mechanism underlying this association is not known. To develop an animal model of PNPLA3-induced fatty liver disease, we generated transgenic mice that overexpress similar amounts of wild-type PNPLA3 (PNPLA3WT) or mutant PNPLA3 (PNPLA3I148M) either in liver or adipose tissue. Overexpression of the transgenes in adipose tissue did not affect liver fat content. Expression of PNPLA3I148M, but not PNPLA3WT, in liver recapitulated the fatty liver phenotype as well as other metabolic features associated with this allele in humans. Metabolic studies provided evidence for 3 distinct alterations in hepatic TAG metabolism in PNPLA3I148M transgenic mice: increased formation of fatty acids and TAG, impaired hydrolysis of TAG, and relative depletion of TAG long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. These findings suggest that PNPLA3 plays a role in remodeling TAG in lipid droplets, as they accumulate in response to food intake, and that the increase in hepatic TAG levels associated with the I148M substitution results from multiple changes in hepatic TAG metabolism. The development of an animal model that recapitulates the metabolic phenotype of the allele in humans provides a new platform in which to elucidate the role of PNLPA3I148M in NAFLD.
John Zhong Li, Yongcheng Huang, Ruchan Karaman, Pavlina T. Ivanova, H. Alex Brown, Thomas Roddy, Jose Castro-Perez, Jonathan C. Cohen, Helen H. Hobbs
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is characterized by steatosis and upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1β. IL-1β, type I IL-1 receptor (IL-1R1), and IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) are all important regulators of the IL-1 signaling complex, which plays a role in inflammation. Furthermore, IL-1β maturation is dependent on caspase-1 (Casp-1). Using IL-1Ra–treated mice as well as 3 mouse models deficient in regulators of IL-1β activation (Casp-1 and ASC) or signaling (IL-1R1), we found that IL-1β signaling is required for the development of alcohol-induced liver steatosis, inflammation, and injury. Increased IL-1β was due to upregulation of Casp-1 activity and inflammasome activation. The pathogenic role of IL-1 signaling in ALD was attributable to the activation of the inflammasome in BM-derived Kupffer cells. Importantly, in vivo intervention with a recombinant IL-1Ra blocked IL-1 signaling and markedly attenuated alcohol-induced liver inflammation, steatosis, and damage. Furthermore, physiological doses of IL-1β induced steatosis, increased the inflammatory and prosteatotic chemokine MCP-1 in hepatocytes, and augmented TLR4-dependent upregulation of inflammatory signaling in macrophages. In conclusion, we demonstrated that Casp-1–dependent upregulation of IL-1β and signaling mediated by IL-1R1 are crucial in ALD pathogenesis. Our findings suggest a potential role of IL-1R1 inhibition in the treatment of ALD.
Jan Petrasek, Shashi Bala, Timea Csak, Dora Lippai, Karen Kodys, Victoria Menashy, Matthew Barrieau, So-Yun Min, Evelyn A. Kurt-Jones, Gyongyi Szabo
Over half of the mature hepatocytes in mice and humans are aneuploid and yet retain full ability to undergo mitosis. This observation has raised the question of whether this unusual somatic genetic variation evolved as an adaptive mechanism in response to hepatic injury. According to this model, hepatotoxic insults select for hepatocytes with specific numerical chromosome abnormalities, rendering them differentially resistant to injury. To test this hypothesis, we utilized a strain of mice heterozygous for a mutation in the homogentisic acid dioxygenase (Hgd) gene located on chromosome 16. Loss of the remaining Hgd allele protects from fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (Fah) deficiency, a genetic liver disease model. When adult mice heterozygous for Hgd and lacking Fah were exposed to chronic liver damage, injury-resistant nodules consisting of Hgd-null hepatocytes rapidly emerged. To determine whether aneuploidy played a role in this phenomenon, array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and metaphase karyotyping were performed. Strikingly, loss of chromosome 16 was dramatically enriched in all mice that became completely resistant to tyrosinemia-induced hepatic injury. The frequency of chromosome 16–specific aneuploidy was approximately 50%. This result indicates that selection of a specific aneuploid karyotype can result in the adaptation of hepatocytes to chronic liver injury. The extent to which aneuploidy promotes hepatic adaptation in humans remains under investigation.
Andrew W. Duncan, Amy E. Hanlon Newell, Weimin Bi, Milton J. Finegold, Susan B. Olson, Arthur L. Beaudet, Markus Grompe
Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (ICCs) are primary liver tumors with a poor prognosis. The development of effective therapies has been hampered by a limited understanding of the biology of ICCs. Although ICCs exhibit heterogeneity in location, histology, and marker expression, they are currently thought to derive invariably from the cells lining the bile ducts, biliary epithelial cells (BECs), or liver progenitor cells (LPCs). Despite lack of experimental evidence establishing BECs or LPCs as the origin of ICCs, other liver cell types have not been considered. Here we show that ICCs can originate from fully differentiated hepatocytes. Using a mouse model of hepatocyte fate tracing, we found that activated NOTCH and AKT signaling cooperate to convert normal hepatocytes into biliary cells that act as precursors of rapidly progressing, lethal ICCs. Our findings suggest a previously overlooked mechanism of human ICC formation that may be targetable for anti-ICC therapy.
Biao Fan, Yann Malato, Diego F. Calvisi, Syed Naqvi, Nataliya Razumilava, Silvia Ribback, Gregory J. Gores, Frank Dombrowski, Matthias Evert, Xin Chen, Holger Willenbring
Liver X receptors (LXRα and LXRβ) are important regulators of cholesterol and lipid metabolism, and their activation has been shown to inhibit cardiovascular disease and reduce atherosclerosis in animal models. Small molecule agonists of LXR activity are therefore of great therapeutic interest. However, the finding that such agonists also promote hepatic lipogenesis has led to the idea that hepatic LXR activity is undesirable from a therapeutic perspective. To investigate whether this might be true, we performed gene targeting to selectively delete LXRα in hepatocytes. Liver-specific deletion of LXRα in mice substantially decreased reverse cholesterol transport, cholesterol catabolism, and cholesterol excretion, revealing the essential importance of hepatic LXRα for whole body cholesterol homeostasis. Additionally, in a pro-atherogenic background, liver-specific deletion of LXRα increased atherosclerosis, uncovering an important function for hepatic LXR activity in limiting cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, synthetic LXR agonists still elicited anti-atherogenic activity in the absence of hepatic LXRα, indicating that the ability of agonists to reduce cardiovascular disease did not require an increase in cholesterol excretion. Furthermore, when non-atherogenic mice were treated with synthetic LXR agonists, liver-specific deletion of LXRα eliminated the detrimental effect of increased plasma triglycerides, while the beneficial effect of increased plasma HDL was unaltered. In sum, these observations suggest that therapeutic strategies that bypass the liver or limit the activation of hepatic LXRs should still be beneficial for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Yuan Zhang, Sarah R. Breevoort, Jerry Angdisen, Mingui Fu, Daniel R. Schmidt, Sam R. Holmstrom, Steven A. Kliewer, David J. Mangelsdorf, Ira G. Schulman
The acute phase response is an evolutionarily conserved reaction in which physiological stress triggers the liver to remodel the blood proteome. Although thought to be involved in immune defense, the net biological effect of the acute phase response remains unknown. As the acute phase response is stimulated by diverse cytokines that activate either NF-κB or STAT3, we hypothesized that it could be eliminated by hepatocyte-specific interruption of both transcription factors. Here, we report that the elimination in mice of both NF-κB p65 (RelA) and STAT3, but neither alone, abrogated all acute phase responses measured. The failure to respond was consistent across multiple different infectious, inflammatory, and noxious stimuli, including pneumococcal pneumonia. When the effects of infection were analyzed in detail, pneumococcal pneumonia was found to alter the expression of over a thousand transcripts in the liver. This outcome was inhibited by the combined loss of RelA and STAT3. Moreover, this interruption of the acute phase response increased mortality and exacerbated bacterial dissemination during pneumonia, possibly as a result of acute humoral enhancement of macrophage opsonophagocytosis, which was impaired in the mutant mice. Thus, we conclude that RelA and STAT3 are essential for stress-induced transcriptional remodeling in the liver and the subsequent activation of the acute phase response, whose functional role includes compartmentalization of local infection.
Lee J. Quinton, Matthew T. Blahna, Matthew R. Jones, Eri Allen, Joseph D. Ferrari, Kristie L. Hilliard, Xiaoling Zhang, Vishakha Sabharwal, Hana Algül, Shizuo Akira, Roland M. Schmid, Stephen I. Pelton, Avrum Spira, Joseph P. Mizgerd
The ability of the liver to regenerate is crucial to protect liver function after injury and during chronic disease. Increases in hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) in liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) are thought to drive liver regeneration. However, in contrast to endothelial progenitor cells, mature LSECs express little HGF. Therefore, we sought to establish in rats whether liver injury causes BM LSEC progenitor cells to engraft in the liver and provide increased levels of HGF and to examine the relative contribution of resident and BM LSEC progenitors. LSEC label-retaining cells and progenitors were identified in liver and LSEC progenitors in BM. BM LSEC progenitors did not contribute to normal LSEC turnover in the liver. However, after partial hepatectomy, BM LSEC progenitor proliferation and mobilization to the circulation doubled. In the liver, one-quarter of the LSECs were BM derived, and BM LSEC progenitors differentiated into fenestrated LSECs. When irradiated rats underwent partial hepatectomy, liver regeneration was compromised, but infusion of LSEC progenitors rescued the defect. Further analysis revealed that BM LSEC progenitors expressed substantially more HGF and were more proliferative than resident LSEC progenitors after partial hepatectomy. Resident LSEC progenitors within their niche may play a smaller role in recovery from partial hepatectomy than BM LSEC progenitors, but, when infused after injury, these progenitors engrafted and expanded markedly over a 2-month period. In conclusion, LSEC progenitor cells are present in liver and BM, and recruitment of BM LSEC progenitors is necessary for normal liver regeneration.
Lin Wang, Xiangdong Wang, Guanhua Xie, Lei Wang, Colin K. Hill, Laurie D. DeLeve
Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose is the predominant cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Toxicity begins with a reactive metabolite that binds to proteins. In rodents, this leads to mitochondrial dysfunction and nuclear DNA fragmentation, resulting in necrotic cell death. While APAP metabolism is similar in humans, the later events resulting in toxicity have not been investigated in patients. In this study, levels of biomarkers of mitochondrial damage (glutamate dehydrogenase [GDH] and mitochondrial DNA [mtDNA]) and nuclear DNA fragments were measured in plasma from APAP-overdose patients. Overdose patients with no or minimal hepatic injury who had normal liver function tests (LTs) (referred to herein as the normal LT group) and healthy volunteers served as controls. Peak GDH activity and mtDNA concentration were increased in plasma from patients with abnormal LT. Peak nuclear DNA fragmentation in the abnormal LT cohort was also increased over that of controls. Parallel studies in mice revealed that these plasma biomarkers correlated well with tissue injury. Caspase-3 activity and cleaved caspase-3 were not detectable in plasma from overdose patients or mice, but were elevated after TNF-induced apoptosis, indicating that APAP overdose does not cause apoptosis. Thus, our results suggest that mitochondrial damage and nuclear DNA fragmentation are likely to be critical events in APAP hepatotoxicity in humans, resulting in necrotic cell death.
Mitchell R. McGill, Matthew R. Sharpe, C. David Williams, Mohammad Taha, Steven C. Curry, Hartmut Jaeschke
MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) is thought to be an oncomir because it promotes cancer cell proliferation, migration, and survival. miR-21 is also expressed in normal cells, but its physiological role is poorly understood. Recently, it has been found that miR-21 expression is rapidly induced in rodent hepatocytes during liver regeneration after two-thirds partial hepatectomy (2/3 PH). Here, we investigated the function of miR-21 in regenerating mouse hepatocytes by inhibiting it with an antisense oligonucleotide. To maintain normal hepatocyte viability and function, we antagonized the miR-21 surge induced by 2/3 PH while preserving baseline expression. We found that knockdown of miR-21 impaired progression of hepatocytes into S phase of the cell cycle, mainly through a decrease in levels of cyclin D1 protein, but not Ccnd1 mRNA. Mechanistically, we discovered that increased miR-21 expression facilitated cyclin D1 translation in the early phase of liver regeneration by relieving Akt1/mTOR complex 1 signaling (and thus eIF-4F–mediated translation initiation) from suppression by Rhob. Our findings reveal that miR-21 enables rapid hepatocyte proliferation during liver regeneration by accelerating cyclin D1 translation.
Raymond Ng, Guisheng Song, Garrett R. Roll, Niels M. Frandsen, Holger Willenbring
Bilirubin, a breakdown product of heme, is normally glucuronidated and excreted by the liver into bile. Failure of this system can lead to a buildup of conjugated bilirubin in the blood, resulting in jaundice. The mechanistic basis of bilirubin excretion and hyperbilirubinemia syndromes is largely understood, but that of Rotor syndrome, an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by conjugated hyperbilirubinemia, coproporphyrinuria, and near-absent hepatic uptake of anionic diagnostics, has remained enigmatic. Here, we analyzed 8 Rotor-syndrome families and found that Rotor syndrome was linked to mutations predicted to cause complete and simultaneous deficiencies of the organic anion transporting polypeptides OATP1B1 and OATP1B3. These important detoxification-limiting proteins mediate uptake and clearance of countless drugs and drug conjugates across the sinusoidal hepatocyte membrane. OATP1B1 polymorphisms have previously been linked to drug hypersensitivities. Using mice deficient in Oatp1a/1b and in the multispecific sinusoidal export pump Abcc3, we found that Abcc3 secretes bilirubin conjugates into the blood, while Oatp1a/1b transporters mediate their hepatic reuptake. Transgenic expression of human OATP1B1 or OATP1B3 restored the function of this detoxification-enhancing liver-blood shuttle in Oatp1a/1b-deficient mice. Within liver lobules, this shuttle may allow flexible transfer of bilirubin conjugates (and probably also drug conjugates) formed in upstream hepatocytes to downstream hepatocytes, thereby preventing local saturation of further detoxification processes and hepatocyte toxic injury. Thus, disruption of hepatic reuptake of bilirubin glucuronide due to coexisting OATP1B1 and OATP1B3 deficiencies explains Rotor-type hyperbilirubinemia. Moreover, OATP1B1 and OATP1B3 null mutations may confer substantial drug toxicity risks.
Evita van de Steeg, Viktor Stránecký, Hana Hartmannová, Lenka Nosková, Martin Hřebíček, Els Wagenaar, Anita van Esch, Dirk R. de Waart, Ronald P.J. Oude Elferink, Kathryn E. Kenworthy, Eva Sticová, Mohammad al-Edreesi, A.S. Knisely, Stanislav Kmoch, Milan Jirsa, Alfred H. Schinkel
Recent evidence has contradicted the prevailing view that homeostasis and regeneration of the adult liver are mediated by self duplication of lineage-restricted hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells. These new data suggest that liver progenitor cells do not function solely as a backup system in chronic liver injury; rather, they also produce hepatocytes after acute injury and are in fact the main source of new hepatocytes during normal hepatocyte turnover. In addition, other evidence suggests that hepatocytes are capable of lineage conversion, acting as precursors of biliary epithelial cells during biliary injury. To test these concepts, we generated a hepatocyte fate-tracing model based on timed and specific Cre recombinase expression and marker gene activation in all hepatocytes of adult Rosa26 reporter mice with an adenoassociated viral vector. We found that newly formed hepatocytes derived from preexisting hepatocytes in the normal liver and that liver progenitor cells contributed minimally to acute hepatocyte regeneration. Further, we found no evidence that biliary injury induced conversion of hepatocytes into biliary epithelial cells. These results therefore restore the previously prevailing paradigms of liver homeostasis and regeneration. In addition, our new vector system will be a valuable tool for timed, efficient, and specific loop out of floxed sequences in hepatocytes.
Yann Malato, Syed Naqvi, Nina Schürmann, Raymond Ng, Bruce Wang, Joan Zape, Mark A. Kay, Dirk Grimm, Holger Willenbring
The growth arrest and DNA damage–inducible 45 (Gadd45) proteins act in many cellular processes. In the liver, Gadd45b (encoding Gadd45β) is the gene most strongly induced early during both compensatory regeneration and drug-induced hyperplasia. The latter response is associated with the dramatic and rapid hepatocyte growth that follows administration of the xenobiotic TCPOBOP (1,4-bis[2-(3,5)-dichoropyridyloxy] benzene), a ligand of the nuclear receptor constitutive androstane receptor (CAR). Here, we have shown that Gadd45b–/– mice have intact proliferative responses following administration of a single dose of TCPOBOP, but marked growth delays. Moreover, early transcriptional stimulation of CAR target genes was weaker in Gadd45b–/– mice than in wild-type animals, and more genes were downregulated. Gadd45β was then found to have a direct role in transcription by physically binding to CAR, and TCPOBOP treatment caused both proteins to localize to a regulatory element for the CAR target gene cytochrome P450 2b10 (Cyp2b10). Further analysis defined separate Gadd45β domains that mediated binding to CAR and transcriptional activation. Although baseline hepatic expression of Gadd45b was broadly comparable to that of other coactivators, its 140-fold stimulation by TCPOBOP was striking and unique. The induction of Gadd45β is therefore a response that facilitates increased transcription, allowing rapid expansion of liver mass for protection against xenobiotic insults.
Jianmin Tian, Haiyan Huang, Barbara Hoffman, Dan A. Liebermann, Giovanna M. Ledda-Columbano, Amedeo Columbano, Joseph Locker
The tumor suppressor p53 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of non-cancer-related conditions such as insulin resistance, cardiac failure, and early aging. In addition, accumulation of p53 has been observed in the hepatocytes of individuals with fibrotic liver diseases, but the significance of this is not known. Herein, we have mechanistically linked p53 activation in hepatocytes to liver fibrosis. Hepatocyte-specific deletion in mice of the gene encoding Mdm2, a protein that promotes p53 degradation, led to hepatocyte synthesis of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF; the hepatic fibrogenic master switch), increased hepatocyte apoptosis, and spontaneous liver fibrosis; concurrent removal of p53 completely abolished this phenotype. Compared with wild-type controls, mice with hepatocyte-specific p53 deletion exhibited similar levels of hepatocyte apoptosis but decreased liver fibrosis and hepatic CTGF expression in two models of liver fibrosis. The clinical significance of these data was highlighted by two observations. First, p53 upregulated CTGF in a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line by repressing miR-17-92. Second, human liver samples showed a correlation between CTGF and p53-regulated gene expression, which were both increased in fibrotic livers. This study reveals that p53 induces CTGF expression and promotes liver fibrosis, suggesting that the p53/CTGF pathway may be a therapeutic target in the treatment of liver fibrosis.
Takahiro Kodama, Tetsuo Takehara, Hayato Hikita, Satoshi Shimizu, Minoru Shigekawa, Hinako Tsunematsu, Wei Li, Takuya Miyagi, Atsushi Hosui, Tomohide Tatsumi, Hisashi Ishida, Tatsuya Kanto, Naoki Hiramatsu, Satoshi Kubota, Masaharu Takigawa, Yoshito Tomimaru, Akira Tomokuni, Hiroaki Nagano, Yuichiro Doki, Masaki Mori, Norio Hayashi