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1.
J Clin Invest ; 131(7)2021 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33792566

RESUMO

Hepatic ischemia and reperfusion (IR) injury contributes to the morbidity and mortality associated with liver transplantation. microRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a family of noncoding RNAs that regulate gene expression at the posttranslational level through the repression of specific target genes. Here, we hypothesized that miRNAs could be targeted to enhance hepatic ischemia tolerance. A miRNA screen in a murine model of hepatic IR injury pointed us toward the liver-specific miRNA miR122. Subsequent studies in mice with hepatocyte-specific deletion of miR122 (miR122loxP/loxP Alb-Cre+ mice) during hepatic ischemia and reperfusion revealed exacerbated liver injury. Transcriptional studies implicated hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF1α) in the induction of miR122 and identified the oxygen-sensing prolyl hydroxylase domain 1 (PHD1) as a miR122 target. Further studies indicated that HIF1α-dependent induction of miR122 participated in a feed-forward pathway for liver protection via the enhancement of hepatic HIF responses through PHD1 repression. Moreover, pharmacologic studies utilizing nanoparticle-mediated miR122 overexpression demonstrated attenuated liver injury. Finally, proof-of-principle studies in patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation showed elevated miR122 levels in conjunction with the repression of PHD1 in post-ischemic liver biopsies. Taken together, the present findings provide molecular insight into the functional role of miR122 in enhancing hepatic ischemia tolerance and suggest the potential utility of pharmacologic interventions targeting miR122 to dampen hepatic injury during liver transplantation.

2.
Gene Expr ; 20(3): 179-188, 2021 Jun 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33757622

RESUMO

Genomic and transcriptomic analyses have well established that the major fraction of the mammalian genome is transcribed into different classes of RNAs ranging in size from a few nucleotides to hundreds of thousands of nucleotides, which do not encode any protein. Some of these noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are directly or indirectly linked to the regulation of expression or functions of 25,000 proteins coded by <2% of the human genome. Among these regulatory RNAs, microRNAs are small (2125 nucleotides) RNAs that are processed from precursor RNAs that have stemloop structure, whereas noncoding RNAs >200 nucleotides are termed long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs). Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are newly identified lncRNA members that are generated by back-splicing of primary transcripts. The functions of ncRNAs in modulating liver toxicity of xenobiotics are emerging only recently. Acetaminophen (N-acetyl-para-aminophenol, paracetamol or APAP) is a safe analgesic and antipyretic drug at the therapeutic dose. However, it can cause severe liver toxicity that may lead to liver failure if overdosed or combined with alcohol, herbs, or other xenobiotics. This review discusses the role of ncRNAs in acetaminophen metabolism, toxicity, and liver regeneration after APAP-induced liver injury (AILI).

3.
Am J Cancer Res ; 10(11): 3565-3574, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33294255

RESUMO

Cytokines are one of the first immunotherapeutics utilized in trials of human cancers with significant success. However, due to their significant toxicity and often lack of efficacy, cytokines have given their spotlight to other cancer immunotherapeutics such as immune checkpoint inhibitors. Nevertheless, only a subset of cancer patients respond to checkpoint inhibitors. Therefore, developing a novel cytokine-based immunotherapy is still necessary. Among an array of cytokine candidates, IL-27 is a unique one that exhibits clear anti-tumor activity with low toxicity. Systemically delivered IL-27 by adeno-associated virus (AAV-IL-27) is very well tolerized by mice and exhibits potent anti-tumor activity in a variety of tumor models. AAV-IL-27 exerts its anti-tumor activity through directly stimulation of immune effector cells and systemic depletion of Tregs, and is particularly suitable for delivery in combination with checkpoint inhibitors or vaccines. Additionally, AAV-IL-27 can also be delivered locally to tumors to exert its unique actions. In this review, we summarize the evidence that support these points and propose AAV-delivered IL-27 as a potential immunotherapeutic for cancer.

4.
Cancers (Basel) ; 12(10)2020 Sep 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32977582

RESUMO

Objective: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is frequently diagnosed in patients with late-stage disease who are ineligible for curative surgical therapies. The majority of patients become resistant to sorafenib, the only approved first-line therapy for advanced cancer, underscoring the need for newer, more effective drugs. The purpose of this study is to expedite identification of novel drugs against sorafenib resistant (SR)-HCC. Methods: We employed a transcriptomics-based drug repurposing method termed connectivity mapping using gene signatures from in vitro-derived SR Huh7 HCC cells. For proof of concept validation, we focused on drugs that were FDA-approved or under clinical investigation and prioritized two anti-neoplastic agents (dasatinib and fostamatinib) with targets associated with HCC. We also prospectively validated predicted gene expression changes in drug-treated SR Huh7 cells as well as identified and validated the targets of Fostamatinib in HCC. Results: Dasatinib specifically reduced the viability of SR-HCC cells that correlated with up-regulated activity of SRC family kinases, its targets, in our SR-HCC model. However, fostamatinib was able to inhibit both parental and SR HCC cells in vitro and in xenograft models. Ingenuity pathway analysis of fostamatinib gene expression signature from LINCS predicted JAK/STAT, PI3K/AKT, ERK/MAPK pathways as potential targets of fostamatinib that were validated by Western blot analysis. Fostamatinib treatment reversed the expression of genes that were deregulated in SR HCC. Conclusion: We provide proof of concept evidence for the validity of this drug repurposing approach for SR-HCC with implications for personalized medicine.

5.
Biology (Basel) ; 9(7)2020 Jul 08.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32650615

RESUMO

MicroRNA-122 (miR-122) has been identified as a marker of various liver injuries, including hepatitis- virus-infection-, alcoholic-, and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)-induced liver fibrosis. Here, we report that the extracellular miR-122 from hepatic cells can be delivered to hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) to modulate their proliferation and gene expression. Our published Argonaute crosslinking immunoprecipitation (Ago-CLIP) data identified several pro-fibrotic genes, including Ctgf, as miR-122 targets in mice livers. However, treating Ctgf as a therapeutic target failed to rescue the fibrosis developed in the miR-122 knockout livers. Alternatively, we compared the published datasets of human cirrhotic livers and miR-122 KO livers, which revealed upregulation of BCL2, suggesting its potential role in regulating fibrosis. Notably, ectopic miR-122 expression inhibited BCL2 expression in human HSC (LX-2) cells). Publicly available ChIP-seq data in human hepatocellular cancer (HepG2) cells and mice livers suggested miR-122 could regulate BCL2 expression indirectly through c-MYC, which was confirmed by siRNA-mediated depletion of c-MYC in Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) cell lines. Importantly, Venetoclax, a potent BCL2 inhibitor approved for the treatment of leukemia, showed promising anti-fibrotic effects in miR-122 knockout mice. Collectively, our data demonstrate that miR-122 suppresses liver fibrosis and implicates anti-fibrotic potential of Venetoclax.

6.
Front Cell Dev Biol ; 8: 210, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32292786

RESUMO

IL-27 is an anti-inflammatory cytokine that has been shown to have potent anti-tumor activity. We recently reported that systemic delivery of IL-27 using recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) induced depletion of Tregs and significantly enhanced the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy in a variety of mouse tumor models. A potential caveat of systemic delivery of IL-27 using rAAV is that there is no practical method to terminate IL-27 production when its biological activity is no longer needed. Therefore, in this work, we tested if directly injecting AAV-IL-27 into tumors could lead to similar anti-tumor effect yet avoiding uncontrolled IL-27 production. We found that high levels of IL-27 was produced in tumors and released to peripheral blood after AAV-IL-27 intra-tumoral injection. AAV-IL-27 local therapy showed potent anti-tumor activity in mice bearing plasmacytoma J558 tumors and modest anti-tumor activity in mice bearing B16.F10 tumors. Intra-tumoral injection of AAV-IL-27 induced infiltration of immune effectors including CD8+ T cells and NK cells into tumors, caused systemic reduction of Tregs and stimulated protective immunity. Mechanistically, we found that IL-27 induced T cell expression of CXCR3 in an IL-27R-dependent manner. Additionally, we found that AAV-IL-27 local therapy had significant synergy with anti-PD-1 or T cell adoptive transfer therapy. Importantly, in mice whose tumors were completely rejected, IL-27 serum levels were significantly reduced or diminished. Thus, intra-tumoral injection of AAV-IL-27 is a feasible approach that can be used alone and in combination with anti-PD-1 antibody or T cell adoptive transfer for the treatment of cancer.

7.
Mol Metab ; 34: 174-186, 2020 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32180557

RESUMO

OBJECTIVE: It is well established that the liver-specific miR-122, a bona fide tumor suppressor, plays a critical role in lipid homeostasis. However, its role, if any, in amino acid metabolism has not been explored. Since glutamine (Gln) is a critical energy and anaplerotic source for mammalian cells, we assessed Gln metabolism in control wild type (WT) mice and miR-122 knockout (KO) mice by stable isotope resolved metabolomics (SIRM) studies. METHODS: Six-to eight-week-old WT and KO mice and 12- to 15-month-old liver tumor-bearing mice were injected with [U-13C5,15N2]-L-Gln, and polar metabolites from the liver tissues were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) imaging and ion chromatography-mass spectrometry (IC-MS). Gln-metabolism was also assessed in a Gln-dependent hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell line (EC4). Expressions of glutaminases (Gls and Gls2) were analyzed in mouse livers and human primary HCC samples. RESULTS: The results showed that loss of miR-122 promoted glutaminolysis but suppressed gluconeogenesis in mouse livers as evident from the buildup of 13C- and/or 15N-Glu and decrease in glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) levels, respectively, in KO livers. Enhanced glutaminolysis is consistent with the upregulation of expressions of Gls (kidney-type glutaminase) and Slc1a5, a neutral amino acid transporter in KO livers. Both Gls and Slc1a5 were confirmed as direct miR-122 targets by the respective 3'-UTR-driven luciferase assays. Importantly, expressions of Gls and Slc1a5 as well as glutaminase activity were suppressed in a Gln-dependent HCC (EC4) cell line transfected with miR-122 mimic that resulted in decreased 13C-Gln, 13C-á-ketoglutarate, 13C-isocitrate, and 13C-citrate levels. In contrast, 13C-phosphoenolpyruvate and 13C-G6P levels were elevated in cells expressing ectopic miR-122, suggesting enhanced gluconeogenesis. Finally, The Cancer Genome Atlas-Liver Hepatocellular Carcinoma (TCGA-LIHC) database analysis showed that expression of GLS is negatively correlated with miR-122 in primary human HCCs, and the upregulation of GLS RNA is associated with higher tumor grade. More importantly, patients with higher expressions of GLS or SLC1A5 in tumors exhibited poor survival compared with those expressing lower levels of these proteins. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these results show that miR-122 modulates Gln metabolism both in vitro and in vivo, implicating the therapeutic potential of miR-122 in HCCs that exhibit relatively high GLS levels.

8.
Mol Cancer Ther ; 19(2): 384-396, 2020 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31582534

RESUMO

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most prevalent primary liver cancer, is a leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide because of rising incidence and limited therapy. Although treatment with sorafenib or lenvatinib is the standard of care in patients with advanced-stage HCC, the survival benefit from sorafenib is limited due to low response rate and drug resistance. Ibrutinib, an irreversible tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) of the TEC (e.g., BTK) and ErbB (e.g., EGFR) families, is an approved treatment for B-cell malignancies. Here, we demonstrate that ibrutinib inhibits proliferation, spheroid formation, and clonogenic survival of HCC cells, including sorafenib-resistant cells. Mechanistically, ibrutinib inactivated EGFR and its downstream Akt and ERK signaling in HCC cells, and downregulated a set of critical genes involved in cell proliferation, migration, survival, and stemness, and upregulated genes promoting differentiation. Moreover, ibrutinib showed synergy with sorafenib or regorafenib, a sorafenib congener, by inducing apoptosis of HCC cells. In vivo, this TKI combination significantly inhibited HCC growth and prolonged survival of immune-deficient mice bearing human HCCLM3 xenograft tumors and immune-competent mice bearing orthotopic mouse Hepa tumors at a dose that did not exhibit systemic toxicity. In immune-competent mice, the ibrutinib-sorafenib combination reduced the numbers of BTK+ immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. Importantly, we found that the BTK+ immune cells were also enriched in the tumor microenvironment in a subset of primary human HCCs. Collectively, our findings implicate BTK signaling in hepatocarcinogenesis and support clinical trials of the sorafenib-ibrutinib combination for this deadly disease.

9.
Cancers (Basel) ; 11(12)2019 Dec 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31847435

RESUMO

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most prevalent primary cancer and a highly aggressive liver malignancy. Liver cancer cells reprogram their metabolism to meet their needs for rapid proliferation and tumor growth. In the present study, we investigated the alterations in the expression of the genes involved in glucose metabolic pathways as well as their association with the clinical stage and survival of HCC patients. We found that the expressions of around 30% of genes involved in the glucose metabolic pathway are consistently dysregulated with a predominant down-regulation in HCC tumors. Moreover, the differentially expressed genes are associated with an advanced clinical stage and a poor prognosis. More importantly, unsupervised clustering analysis with the differentially expressed genes that were also associated with overall survival (OS) revealed a subgroup of patients with a worse prognosis including reduced OS, disease specific survival, and recurrence-free survival. This aggressive subtype had significantly increased expression of stemness-related genes and down-regulated metabolic genes, as well as increased immune infiltrates that contribute to a poor prognosis. Collectively, this integrative study indicates that expressions of the glucose metabolic genes could be used as potential prognostic markers and/or therapeutic targets, which might be helpful in developing precise treatment for patients with HCC.

11.
Cancer Res ; 79(17): 4326-4330, 2019 09 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31481419

RESUMO

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has emerged as a major cause of cancer deaths globally. The landscape of systemic therapy has recently changed, with six additional systemic agents either approved or awaiting approval for advanced stage HCC. While these agents have the potential to improve outcomes, a survival increase of 2-5 months remains poor and falls short of what has been achieved in many other solid tumor types. The roles of genomics, underlying cirrhosis, and optimal use of treatment strategies that include radiation, liver transplantation, and surgery remain unanswered. Here, we discuss new treatment opportunities, controversies, and future directions in managing HCC.


Assuntos
Carcinoma Hepatocelular/terapia , Neoplasias Hepáticas/terapia , Anilidas/administração & dosagem , Anilidas/uso terapêutico , Anticorpos Monoclonais Humanizados/uso terapêutico , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/mortalidade , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/patologia , Quimioembolização Terapêutica , Ensaios Clínicos como Assunto , Humanos , Imunoterapia/métodos , Neoplasias Hepáticas/mortalidade , Neoplasias Hepáticas/patologia , Terapia de Alvo Molecular/métodos , Mutação , Compostos de Fenilureia/uso terapêutico , Inibidores de Proteínas Quinases/uso terapêutico , Piridinas/administração & dosagem , Piridinas/uso terapêutico , Quinolinas/uso terapêutico , beta Catenina/genética
16.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 9105, 2018 06 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29904144

RESUMO

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Thus, a better understanding of molecular aberrations involved in HCC pathogenesis is necessary for developing effective therapy. It is well established that cancer cells metabolize energy sources differently to rapidly generate biomass. Glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PD), the rate-limiting enzyme of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway (PPP), is often activated in human malignancies to generate precursors for nucleotide and lipid synthesis. Here, we determined the clinical significance of G6PD in primary human HCC by analyzing RNA-seq and clinical data in The Cancer Genome Atlas. We found that the upregulation of G6PD correlates with higher tumor grade, increased tumor recurrence, and poor patient survival. Notably, liver-specific miR-122, which is essential for metabolic homeostasis, suppresses G6PD expression by directly interacting with its 3'UTR. Luciferase reporter assay confirmed two conserved functional miR-122 binding sites located in the 3'-UTR of G6PD. Furthermore, we show that ectopic expression of miR-122 and miR-1, a known regulator of G6PD expression coordinately repress G6PD expression in HCC cells. These miRNAs also reduced G6PD activity in HepG2 cells that express relatively high activity of this enzyme. Collectively, this study provides evidence that anti-HCC efficacy of miR122 and miR-1 could be mediated, at least in part, through inhibition of PPP by suppressing the expression of G6PD.


Assuntos
Carcinoma Hepatocelular/metabolismo , Glucosefosfato Desidrogenase/biossíntese , Neoplasias Hepáticas/metabolismo , MicroRNAs/metabolismo , Proteínas de Neoplasias/biossíntese , RNA Neoplásico/metabolismo , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/genética , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/patologia , Regulação Enzimológica da Expressão Gênica , Regulação Neoplásica da Expressão Gênica , Glucosefosfato Desidrogenase/genética , Células Hep G2 , Humanos , Neoplasias Hepáticas/genética , Neoplasias Hepáticas/patologia , MicroRNAs/genética , Proteínas de Neoplasias/genética , RNA Neoplásico/genética , Regulação para Cima
17.
PLoS One ; 13(6): e0198552, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29879168

RESUMO

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains one of the major causes of cancer related deaths. Although ultrasonography (US), computed tomography (CT) and/or high-cost magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have been shown to improve early detection of liver cancer and mortality rates in high-risk individuals, such imaging based methods are limited by high rates of false positivity leading to unnecessary patient anxiety and invasive procedures. Complementary blood biomarkers could increase the accuracy of early detection. Although Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) in blood is widely used in HCC screening and diagnosis, the false-negative rate as high as 30% and 40% is found in advanced HCC and early stage HCC respectively. We detected AFP messenger RNA (mRNA) in extracellular vesicles (EVs) in patient plasma using designed molecular beacons and a novel tethered lipoplex nanoparticle (TLN) biochip. Together with glypican-3 (GPC-3) mRNA, another well-known HCC marker, we observed much improved performance of AFP protein-based HCC detection. Comparing normal donors (N = 38) and HCC patients (N = 40), our TLN biochip using EV AFP and GPC-3 mRNAs provided an AUC (area under the ROC curve) of 0.995, better than that of a single marker. This 2-mRNA combination also provided a perfect positive predictive value (PPV = 1) at a negative predictive value (NPV) of 0.95 and 20% prevalence, while the blood AFP protein or plasma EV GPC3 mRNA alone could only provide a PPV of 0.61 and 0.79 respectively at the same conditions. Thus, this facile new method may complement current models for risk stratification in liver cancer screening, therapeutic monitoring, and after-treatment surveillance. However, large scale validation will need to be conducted to confirm its clinical potential.


Assuntos
Biomarcadores Tumorais/análise , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/diagnóstico , Detecção Precoce de Câncer/métodos , Vesículas Extracelulares/metabolismo , Neoplasias Hepáticas/diagnóstico , RNA Mensageiro/sangue , Idoso , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/sangue , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/patologia , Vesículas Extracelulares/genética , Estudos de Viabilidade , Feminino , Glipicanas/genética , Humanos , Neoplasias Hepáticas/sangue , Neoplasias Hepáticas/patologia , Masculino , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Sondas Moleculares/química , Nanopartículas/química , Valor Preditivo dos Testes , RNA Mensageiro/metabolismo , Medição de Risco/métodos , Tomografia Computadorizada por Raios X , Ultrassonografia , alfa-Fetoproteínas/genética
19.
Int J Mol Sci ; 19(3)2018 Mar 14.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29538313

RESUMO

MicroRNAs are ~22 nucleotide RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level by binding messenger RNA transcripts. miR-21 is described as an oncomiR whose steady-state levels are commonly increased in many malignancies, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods known as cross-linking and immunoprecipitation of RNA followed by sequencing (CLIP-seq) have enabled transcriptome-wide identification of miRNA interactomes. In our study, we use a publicly available Argonaute-CLIP dataset (GSE97061), which contains nine HCC cases with matched benign livers, to characterize the miR-21 interactome in HCC. Argonaute-CLIP identified 580 miR-21 bound target sites on coding transcripts, of which 332 were located in the coding sequences, 214 in the 3'-untranslated region, and 34 in the 5'-untranslated region, introns, or downstream sequences. We compared the expression of miR-21 targets in 377 patients with liver cancer from the data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and found that mRNA levels of 402 miR-21 targets are altered in HCC. Expression of three novel predicted miR-21 targets (CAMSAP1, DDX1 and MARCKSL1) correlated with HCC patient survival. Analysis of RNA-seq data from SK-Hep1 cells treated with a miR-21 antisense oligonucleotide (GSE65892) identified RMND5A, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, as a strong miR-21 candidate target. Collectively, our analysis identified novel miR-21 targets that are likely to play a causal role in hepatocarcinogenesis.


Assuntos
Carcinoma Hepatocelular/genética , Regulação Neoplásica da Expressão Gênica , Neoplasias Hepáticas/genética , MicroRNAs/genética , Animais , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/metabolismo , Linhagem Celular Tumoral , Redes Reguladoras de Genes , Humanos , Neoplasias Hepáticas/metabolismo , Camundongos , Transcriptoma
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