Worldwide epidemics of metabolic diseases, including liver steatosis, are associated with an increased frequency of malignancies, showing the highest positive correlation for liver cancer. The heterogeneity of liver cancer represents a clinical challenge. In liver, the transcription factor PPARγ promotes metabolic adaptations of lipogenesis and aerobic glycolysis under the control of Akt2 activity, but the role of PPARγ in liver tumorigenesis is unknown. Here we have combined preclinical mouse models of liver cancer and genetic studies of a human liver biopsy atlas with the aim of identifying putative therapeutic targets in the context of liver steatosis and cancer. We have revealed a protumoral interaction of Akt2 signaling with hepatocyte nuclear factor 1α (HNF1α) and PPARγ, transcription factors that are master regulators of hepatocyte and adipocyte differentiation, respectively. Akt2 phosphorylates and inhibits HNF1α, thus relieving the suppression of hepatic PPARγ expression and promoting tumorigenesis. Finally, we observed that pharmacological inhibition of PPARγ is therapeutically effective in a preclinical murine model of steatosis-associated liver cancer. Taken together, our studies in humans and mice reveal that Akt2 controls hepatic tumorigenesis through crosstalk between HNF1α and PPARγ.
Cecilia Patitucci, Gabrielle Couchy, Alessia Bagattin, Tatiana Cañeque, Aurélien de Reyniès, Jean-Yves Scoazec, Raphaël Rodriguez, Marco Pontoglio, Jessica Zucman-Rossi, Mario Pende, Ganna Panasyuk
Microvascular endothelial cells (ECs) are increasingly recognized as organ-specific gatekeepers of their microenvironment. Microvascular ECs instruct neighboring cells in their organ-specific vascular niches through angiocrine factors, which include secreted growth factors (angiokines), extracellular matrix molecules, and transmembrane proteins. However, the molecular regulators that drive organ-specific microvascular transcriptional programs and thereby regulate angiodiversity are largely elusive. In contrast to other ECs, which form a continuous cell layer, liver sinusoidal ECs (LSECs) constitute discontinuous, permeable microvessels. Here, we have shown that the transcription factor GATA4 controls murine LSEC specification and function. LSEC-restricted deletion of
Cyrill Géraud, Philipp-Sebastian Koch, Johanna Zierow, Kay Klapproth, Katrin Busch, Victor Olsavszky, Thomas Leibing, Alexandra Demory, Friederike Ulbrich, Miriam Diett, Sandhya Singh, Carsten Sticht, Katja Breitkopf-Heinlein, Karsten Richter, Sanna-Maria Karppinen, Taina Pihlajaniemi, Bernd Arnold, Hans-Reimer Rodewald, Hellmut G. Augustin, Kai Schledzewski, Sergij Goerdt
Disruption of the retinoblastoma (RB) tumor suppressor pathway, either through genetic mutation of upstream regulatory components or mutation of
Lindsey N. Kent, Sooin Bae, Shih-Yin Tsai, Xing Tang, Arunima Srivastava, Christopher Koivisto, Chelsea K. Martin, Elisa Ridolfi, Grace C. Miller, Sarah M. Zorko, Emilia Plevris, Yannis Hadjiyannis, Miguel Perez, Eric Nolan, Raleigh Kladney, Bart Westendorp, Alain de Bruin, Soledad Fernandez, Thomas J. Rosol, Kamal S. Pohar, James M. Pipas, Gustavo Leone
Elisa Álvarez Hernández, Sabine Kahl, Anett Seelig, Paul Begovatz, Martin Irmler, Yuliya Kupriyanova, Bettina Nowotny, Peter Nowotny, Christian Herder, Cristina Barosa, Filipa Carvalho, Jan Rozman, Susanne Neschen, John G. Jones, Johannes Beckers, Martin Hrabě de Angelis, Michael Roden
Hepatic steatosis is caused by metabolic imbalances that could be explained in part by an increase in de novo lipogenesis that results from increased sterol element binding protein 1 (SREBP-1) activity. The nuclear receptor liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1) is an important regulator of intermediary metabolism in the liver, but its role in regulating lipogenesis is not well understood. Here, we have assessed the contribution of LRH-1 SUMOylation to the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Mice expressing a SUMOylation-defective mutant of LRH-1 (LRH-1 K289R mice) developed NAFLD and early signs of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) when challenged with a lipogenic, high-fat, high-sucrose diet. Moreover, we observed that the LRH-1 K289R mutation induced the expression of oxysterol binding protein-like 3 (OSBPL3), enhanced SREBP-1 processing, and promoted de novo lipogenesis. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that ectopic expression of OSBPL3 facilitates SREBP-1 processing in WT mice, while silencing hepatic
Sokrates Stein, Vera Lemos, Pan Xu, Hadrien Demagny, Xu Wang, Dongryeol Ryu, Veronica Jimenez, Fatima Bosch, Thomas F. Lüscher, Maaike H. Oosterveer, Kristina Schoonjans
Malignant tumors develop through multiple steps of initiation and progression, and tumor initiation is of singular importance in tumor prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. However, the molecular mechanism whereby a signaling network of interacting pathways restrains proliferation in normal cells and prevents tumor initiation is still poorly understood. Here, we have reported that the Hippo, Wnt/β-catenin, and Notch pathways form an interacting network to maintain liver size and suppress hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Ablation of the mammalian Hippo kinases
Wantae Kim, Sanjoy Kumar Khan, Jelena Gvozdenovic-Jeremic, Youngeun Kim, Jason Dahlman, Hanjun Kim, Ogyi Park, Tohru Ishitani, Eek-hoon Jho, Bin Gao, Yingzi Yang
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes (T2D), but whether NAFLD plays a causal role in the pathogenesis of T2D is uncertain. One proposed mechanism linking NAFLD to hepatic insulin resistance involves diacylglycerol-mediated (DAG-mediated) activation of protein kinase C-ε (PKCε) and the consequent inhibition of insulin receptor (INSR) kinase activity. However, the molecular mechanism underlying PKCε inhibition of INSR kinase activity is unknown. Here, we used mass spectrometry to identify the phosphorylation site Thr1160 as a PKCε substrate in the functionally critical INSR kinase activation loop. We hypothesized that Thr1160 phosphorylation impairs INSR kinase activity by destabilizing the active configuration of the INSR kinase, and our results confirmed this prediction by demonstrating severely impaired INSR kinase activity in phosphomimetic T1160E mutants. Conversely, the INSR T1160A mutant was not inhibited by PKCε in vitro. Furthermore, mice with a threonine-to-alanine mutation at the homologous residue Thr1150 (
Max C. Petersen, Anila K. Madiraju, Brandon M. Gassaway, Michael Marcel, Ali R. Nasiri, Gina Butrico, Melissa J. Marcucci, Dongyan Zhang, Abudukadier Abulizi, Xian-Man Zhang, William Philbrick, Stevan R. Hubbard, Michael J. Jurczak, Varman T. Samuel, Jesse Rinehart, Gerald I. Shulman
In Wilson disease (WD), functional loss of ATPase copper-transporting β (ATP7B) impairs biliary copper excretion, leading to excessive copper accumulation in the liver and fulminant hepatitis. Current US Food and Drug Administration– and European Medicines Agency–approved pharmacological treatments usually fail to restore copper homeostasis in patients with WD who have progressed to acute liver failure, leaving liver transplantation as the only viable treatment option. Here, we investigated the therapeutic utility of methanobactin (MB), a peptide produced by
Josef Lichtmannegger, Christin Leitzinger, Ralf Wimmer, Sabine Schmitt, Sabine Schulz, Yaschar Kabiri, Carola Eberhagen, Tamara Rieder, Dirk Janik, Frauke Neff, Beate K. Straub, Peter Schirmacher, Alan A. DiSpirito, Nathan Bandow, Bipin S. Baral, Andrew Flatley, Elisabeth Kremmer, Gerald Denk, Florian P. Reiter, Simon Hohenester, Friedericke Eckardt-Schupp, Norbert A. Dencher, Jerzy Adamski, Vanessa Sauer, Christoph Niemietz, Hartmut H.J. Schmidt, Uta Merle, Daniel Nils Gotthardt, Guido Kroemer, Karl Heinz Weiss, Hans Zischka
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is the most common liver disease in industrialized countries. NASH is a progressive disease that can lead to cirrhosis, cancer, and death, and there are currently no approved therapies. The development of NASH in animal models requires intact TLR9, but how the TLR9 pathway is activated in NASH is not clear. Our objectives in this study were to identify NASH-associated ligands for TLR9, establish the cellular requirement for TLR9, and evaluate the role of obesity-induced changes in TLR9 pathway activation. We demonstrated that plasma from mice and patients with NASH contains high levels of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and intact mitochondria and has the ability to activate TLR9. Most of the plasma mtDNA was contained in microparticles (MPs) of hepatocyte origin, and removal of these MPs from plasma resulted in a substantial decrease in TLR9 activation capacity. In mice, NASH development in response to a high-fat diet required TLR9 on lysozyme-expressing cells, and a clinically applicable TLR9 antagonist blocked the development of NASH when given prophylactically and therapeutically. These data demonstrate that activation of the TLR9 pathway provides a link between the key metabolic and inflammatory phenotypes in NASH.
Irma Garcia-Martinez, Nicola Santoro, Yonglin Chen, Rafaz Hoque, Xinshou Ouyang, Sonia Caprio, Mark J. Shlomchik, Robert Lee Coffman, Albert Candia, Wajahat Zafar Mehal
Wilson’s disease (WD) is an autosomal recessive disorder that results in accumulation of copper in the liver as a consequence of mutations in the gene encoding the copper-transporting P-type ATPase (ATP7B). WD is a chronic liver disorder, and individuals with the disease present with a variety of complications, including steatosis, cholestasis, cirrhosis, and liver failure. Similar to patients with WD,
Clavia Ruth Wooton-Kee, Ajay K. Jain, Martin Wagner, Michael A. Grusak, Milton J. Finegold, Svetlana Lutsenko, David D. Moore
Ductular reactions (DRs) are observed in virtually all forms of human liver disease; however, the histogenesis and function of DRs in liver injury are not entirely understood. It is widely believed that DRs contain bipotential liver progenitor cells (LPCs) that serve as an emergency cell pool to regenerate both cholangiocytes and hepatocytes and may eventually give rise to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we used a murine model that allows highly efficient and specific lineage labeling of the biliary compartment to analyze the histogenesis of DRs and their potential contribution to liver regeneration and carcinogenesis. In multiple experimental and genetic liver injury models, biliary cells were the predominant precursors of DRs but lacked substantial capacity to produce new hepatocytes, even when liver injuries were prolonged up to 12 months. Genetic modulation of NOTCH and/or WNT/β-catenin signaling within lineage-tagged DRs impaired DR expansion but failed to redirect DRs from biliary differentiation toward the hepatocyte lineage. Further, lineage-labeled DRs did not produce tumors in genetic and chemical HCC mouse models. In summary, we found no evidence in our system to support mouse biliary-derived DRs as an LPC pool to replenish hepatocytes in a quantitatively relevant way in injury or evidence that DRs give rise to HCCs.
Simone Jörs, Petia Jeliazkova, Marc Ringelhan, Julian Thalhammer, Stephanie Dürl, Jorge Ferrer, Maike Sander, Mathias Heikenwalder, Roland M. Schmid, Jens T. Siveke, Fabian Geisler
Liver cholestatic diseases, which stem from diverse etiologies, result in liver toxicity and fibrosis and may progress to cirrhosis and liver failure. We show that CCN1 (also known as CYR61), a matricellular protein that dampens and resolves liver fibrosis, also mediates cholangiocyte proliferation and ductular reaction, which are repair responses to cholestatic injury. In cholangiocytes, CCN1 activated NF-κB through integrin αvβ5/αvβ3, leading to
Ki-Hyun Kim, Chih-Chiun Chen, Gianfranco Alpini, Lester F. Lau
The cause of organ failure is enigmatic for many degenerative diseases, including end-stage liver disease. Here, using a CCl4-induced rat model of irreversible and fatal hepatic failure, which also exhibits terminal changes in the extracellular matrix, we demonstrated that chronic injury stably reprograms the critical balance of transcription factors and that diseased and dedifferentiated cells can be returned to normal function by re-expression of critical transcription factors, a process similar to the type of reprogramming that induces somatic cells to become pluripotent or to change their cell lineage. Forced re-expression of the transcription factor HNF4α induced expression of the other hepatocyte-expressed transcription factors; restored functionality in terminally diseased hepatocytes isolated from CCl4-treated rats; and rapidly reversed fatal liver failure in CCl4-treated animals by restoring diseased hepatocytes rather than replacing them with new hepatocytes or stem cells. Together, the results of our study indicate that disruption of the transcription factor network and cellular dedifferentiation likely mediate terminal liver failure and suggest reinstatement of this network has therapeutic potential for correcting organ failure without cell replacement.
Taichiro Nishikawa, Aaron Bell, Jenna M. Brooks, Kentaro Setoyama, Marta Melis, Bing Han, Ken Fukumitsu, Kan Handa, Jianmin Tian, Klaus H. Kaestner, Yoram Vodovotz, Joseph Locker, Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez, Ira J. Fox
Polyploidization is one of the most dramatic changes that can occur in the genome. In the liver, physiological polyploidization events occur during both liver development and throughout adult life. Here, we determined that a pathological polyploidization takes place in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a widespread hepatic metabolic disorder that is believed to be a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In murine models of NAFLD, the parenchyma of fatty livers displayed alterations of the polyploidization process, including the presence of a large proportion of highly polyploid mononuclear cells, which are rarely observed in normal hepatic parenchyma. Biopsies from patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) revealed the presence of alterations in hepatocyte ploidy compared with tissue from control individuals. Hepatocytes from NAFLD mice revealed that progression through the S/G2 phases of the cell cycle was inefficient. This alteration was associated with activation of a G2/M DNA damage checkpoint, which prevented activation of the cyclin B1/CDK1 complex. Furthermore, we determined that oxidative stress promotes the appearance of highly polyploid cells, and antioxidant-treated NAFLD hepatocytes resumed normal cell division and returned to a physiological state of polyploidy. Collectively, these findings indicate that oxidative stress promotes pathological polyploidization and suggest that this is an early event in NAFLD that may contribute to HCC development.
Géraldine Gentric, Vanessa Maillet, Valérie Paradis, Dominique Couton, Antoine L’Hermitte, Ganna Panasyuk, Bernard Fromenty, Séverine Celton-Morizur, Chantal Desdouets
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a range of manifestations, including steatosis and cirrhosis. Progressive disease is characterized by hepatic leukocyte accumulation in the form of steatohepatitis. The adhesion molecule vascular adhesion protein-1 (VAP-1) is a membrane-bound amine oxidase that promotes leukocyte recruitment to the liver, and the soluble form (sVAP-1) accounts for most circulating monoamine oxidase activity, has insulin-like effects, and can initiate oxidative stress. Here, we determined that hepatic VAP-1 expression is increased in patients with chronic liver disease and that serum sVAP-1 levels are elevated in patients with NAFLD compared with those in control individuals. In 4 murine hepatic injury models, an absence or blockade of functional VAP-1 reduced inflammatory cell recruitment to the liver and attenuated fibrosis. Moreover, disease was reduced in animals expressing a catalytically inactive form of VAP-1, implicating enzyme activity in the disease pathogenesis. Within the liver, hepatic stromal cells expressed functional VAP-1, and evaluation of cultured cells revealed that sVAP-1 promotes leukocyte migration through catalytic generation of ROS, which depended on VAP-1 enzyme activity. VAP-1 enhanced stromal cell spreading and wound closure and modulated expression of profibrotic genes. Together, these results link the amine oxidase activity of VAP-1 with hepatic inflammation and fibrosis and suggest that targeting VAP-1 has therapeutic potential for NAFLD and other chronic fibrotic liver diseases.
Chris J. Weston, Emma L. Shepherd, Lee C. Claridge, Pia Rantakari, Stuart M. Curbishley, Jeremy W. Tomlinson, Stefan G. Hubscher, Gary M. Reynolds, Kristiina Aalto, Quentin M. Anstee, Sirpa Jalkanen, Marko Salmi, David J. Smith, Christopher P. Day, David H. Adams
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major worldwide health problem. Recent studies suggest that the gut microbiota influences NAFLD pathogenesis. Here, a murine model of high-fat diet–induced (HFD-induced) NAFLD was used, and the effects of alterations in the gut microbiota on NAFLD were determined. Mice treated with antibiotics or tempol exhibited altered bile acid composition, with a notable increase in conjugated bile acid metabolites that inhibited intestinal farnesoid X receptor (FXR) signaling. Compared with control mice, animals with intestine-specific
Changtao Jiang, Cen Xie, Fei Li, Limin Zhang, Robert G. Nichols, Kristopher W. Krausz, Jingwei Cai, Yunpeng Qi, Zhong-Ze Fang, Shogo Takahashi, Naoki Tanaka, Dhimant Desai, Shantu G. Amin, Istvan Albert, Andrew D. Patterson, Frank J. Gonzalez
Inflammation in response to excess low-density lipoproteins in the blood is an important driver of atherosclerosis development. Due to its ability to enhance ATP–binding cassette A1–dependent (ABCA1-dependent) reverse cholesterol transport (RCT), liver X receptor (LXR) is an attractive target for the treatment of atherosclerosis. However, LXR also upregulates the expression of sterol regulatory element–binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c), leading to increased hepatic triglyceride synthesis, an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis. Here, we developed a strategy to separate the favorable and unfavorable effects of LXR by exploiting the specificity of the coactivator thyroid hormone receptor–associated protein 80 (TRAP80). Using human hepatic cell lines, we determined that TRAP80 selectively promotes the transcription of
Geun Hyang Kim, Gyun-Sik Oh, Jin Yoon, Gang Gu Lee, Ki-Up Lee, Seung-Whan Kim
Retinoid-storing hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) have recently been described as a liver-resident mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) population; however, it is not clear whether these cells contribute to liver regeneration or serve as a progenitor cell population with hepatobiliary characteristics. Here, we purified HSCs with retinoid-dependent fluorescence-activated cell sorting from eGFP-expressing rats and transplanted these GFP+ HSCs into wild-type (WT) rats that had undergone partial hepatectomy in the presence of 2-acetylaminofluorene (2AAF) or retrorsine, both of which are injury models that favor stem cell–based liver repair. Transplanted HSCs contributed to liver regeneration in host animals by forming mesenchymal tissue, progenitor cells, hepatocytes, and cholangiocytes and elevated direct bilirubin levels in blood sera of GUNN rats, indicating recovery from the hepatic bilirubin–handling defect in these animals. Transplanted HSCs engrafted within the bone marrow (BM) of host animals, and HSC-derived cells were isolated from BM and successfully retransplanted into new hosts with injured liver. Cultured HSCs transiently adopted an expression profile similar to that of progenitor cells during differentiation into bile acid–synthesizing and –transporting hepatocytes, suggesting that stellate cells represent a source of liver progenitor cells. This concept connects seemingly contradictory studies that favor either progenitor cells or MSCs as important players in stem cell–based liver regeneration.
Claus Kordes, Iris Sawitza, Silke Götze, Diran Herebian, Dieter Häussinger
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) spectrum disorders affect approximately 1 billion individuals worldwide. However, the drivers of progressive steatohepatitis remain incompletely defined. Ketogenesis can dispose of much of the fat that enters the liver, and dysfunction in this pathway could promote the development of NAFLD. Here, we evaluated mice lacking mitochondrial 3-hydroxymethylglutaryl CoA synthase (HMGCS2) to determine the role of ketogenesis in preventing diet-induced steatohepatitis. Antisense oligonucleotide–induced loss of HMGCS2 in chow-fed adult mice caused mild hyperglycemia, increased hepatic gluconeogenesis from pyruvate, and augmented production of hundreds of hepatic metabolites, a suite of which indicated activation of the de novo lipogenesis pathway. High-fat diet feeding of mice with insufficient ketogenesis resulted in extensive hepatocyte injury and inflammation, decreased glycemia, deranged hepatic TCA cycle intermediate concentrations, and impaired hepatic gluconeogenesis due to sequestration of free coenzyme A (CoASH). Supplementation of the CoASH precursors pantothenic acid and cysteine normalized TCA intermediates and gluconeogenesis in the livers of ketogenesis-insufficient animals. Together, these findings indicate that ketogenesis is a critical regulator of hepatic acyl-CoA metabolism, glucose metabolism, and TCA cycle function in the absorptive state and suggest that ketogenesis may modulate fatty liver disease.
David G. Cotter, Baris Ercal, Xiaojing Huang, Jamison M. Leid, D. André d’Avignon, Mark J. Graham, Dennis J. Dietzen, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Gary J. Patti, Peter A. Crawford
The demonstrated ability to differentiate both human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into hepatocyte-like cells (HLCs) holds great promise for both regenerative medicine and liver disease research. Here, we determined that, despite an immature phenotype, differentiated HLCs are permissive to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and mount an interferon response to HCV infection in vitro. HLCs differentiated from hESCs and hiPSCs could be engrafted in the liver parenchyma of immune-deficient transgenic mice carrying the urokinase-type plasminogen activator gene driven by the major urinary protein promoter. The HLCs were maintained for more than 3 months in the livers of chimeric mice, in which they underwent further maturation and proliferation. These engrafted and expanded human HLCs were permissive to in vivo infection with HCV-positive sera and supported long-term infection of multiple HCV genotypes. Our study demonstrates efficient engraftment and in vivo HCV infection of human stem cell–derived hepatocytes and provides a model to study chronic HCV infection in patient-derived hepatocytes, action of antiviral therapies, and the biology of HCV infection.
Arnaud Carpentier, Abeba Tesfaye, Virginia Chu, Ila Nimgaonkar, Fang Zhang, Seung Bum Lee, Snorri S. Thorgeirsson, Stephen M. Feinstone, T. Jake Liang