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
Persistent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is established by the formation of an intranuclear pool of covalently closed circular DNA (cccDNA) in the liver. Very little is known about the intrahepatic distribution of HBV cccDNA in infected patients, particularly at the single-cell level. Here, we established a highly sensitive and specific ISH assay for the detection of HBV RNA, DNA, and cccDNA. The specificity of our cccDNA probe set was confirmed by its strict intranuclear signal and by a series of Southern blot analyses. Use of our in situ assay in conjunction with IHC or immunofluorescence uncovered a surprisingly mosaic distribution of viral antigens and nucleic acids. Most strikingly, a mutually exclusive pattern was found between HBV surface antigen–positive (HBsA-positive) and HBV DNA– and cccDNA-positive cells. A longitudinal observation of patients over a 1-year period of adeforvir therapy confirmed the persistence of a nuclear reservoir of viral DNA, although cytoplasmic DNA was effectively depleted in these individuals. In conclusion, our method for detecting viral nucleic acids, including cccDNA, with single-cell resolution provides a means for monitoring intrahepatic virological events in chronic HBV infection. More important, our observations unravel the complexity of the HBV life cycle in vivo.
Xiaonan Zhang, Wei Lu, Ye Zheng, Weixia Wang, Lu Bai, Liang Chen, Yanling Feng, Zhanqing Zhang, Zhenghong Yuan
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