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J Cell Mol Med ; 25(3): 1568-1582, 2021 Feb.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33410581


The pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic liver microenvironment facilitates hepatocarcinogenesis. However, the effects and mechanisms by which the hepatic fibroinflammatory microenvironment modulates intrahepatic hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) progression and its response to systematic therapy remain largely unexplored. We established a syngeneic orthotopic HCC mouse model with a series of persistent liver injury induced by CCl4 gavage, which mimic the dynamic effect of hepatic pathology microenvironment on intrahepatic HCC growth and metastasis. Non-invasive bioluminescence imaging was applied to follow tumour progression over time. The effect of the liver microenvironment modulated by hepatic injury on sorafenib resistance was investigated in vivo and in vitro. We found that the persistent liver injury facilitated HCC growth and metastasis, which was positively correlated with the degree of liver inflammation rather than the extent of liver fibrosis. The inflammatory cytokines in liver tissue were clearly increased after liver injury. The two indicated cytokines, tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-6 (IL-6), both promoted intrahepatic HCC progression via STAT3 activation. In addition, the hepatic inflammatory microenvironment contributed to sorafenib resistance through the anti-apoptotic protein mediated by STAT3, and STAT3 inhibitor S3I-201 significantly improved sorafenib efficacy impaired by liver inflammation. Clinically, the increased inflammation of liver tissues was accompanied with the up-regulated STAT3 activation in HCC. Above all, we concluded that the hepatic inflammatory microenvironment promotes intrahepatic HCC growth, metastasis and sorafenib resistance through activation of STAT3.

Cell Death Dis ; 11(10): 830, 2020 Oct 06.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33024090


Elongation factor Tu GTP binding domain containing 2 (EFTUD2), a spliceosomal GTPase, plays a pivotal role in multiple organ development and innate immune. It has been reported that EFTUD2 is a new host factor with activity against HCV infection. However, the role of EFTUD2 in solid tumors, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), remains unexplored. In this study, we investigated the molecular function of EFTUD2 in HCC. Data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) indicated an upregulation of EFTUD2 in HCC tissues compared to that in nontumor liver tissues. Immunohistochemical analysis performed on two independent HCC cohorts confirmed the upregulation of EFTUD2 in HCC tissues and further suggested that a high level of EFTUD2 expression predicted shorter overall and recurrence-free survival in HCC patients. Functional studies suggested that siRNA interference with EFTUD2 expression significantly suppressed cell viability, blocked cell cycle progression, facilitated tumor cell apoptosis, and inhibited metastasis, while the enhancement of EFTUD2 expression promoted the proliferation and migration of HCC cells both in vitro and in vivo. Surprisingly, we also found that the stable knockdown of EFTUD2 expression via lentivirus infection was lethal for HCC cells. This finding suggested that EFTUD2 was essential for maintaining the survival of HCC cells. Mechanistically, RNA sequencing and gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) suggested that the gene sets of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and the JAK/STAT3 pathway were enriched in EFTUD2-overexpressing cells. Further verification indicated that EFTUD2-overexpressing cells exhibited an EMT-like phenotype and had enhanced STAT3 activation, while the STAT3 inhibitor S3I-201 partially blocked these pro-malignant effects of EFTUD2 overexpression. In summary, we report EFTUD2 as a novel oncogene that helps to maintain the survival of HCC cells and promotes HCC progression through the activation of STAT3. The high level of expression of EFTUD2 in HCC tissues indicates shorter overall and recurrence-free survival in HCC patients.

Am J Pathol ; 190(11): 2267-2281, 2020 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32805235


Liver fibrosis is an increasing health problem worldwide, for which no effective antifibrosis drugs are available. Although the involvement of aerobic glycolysis in hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation has been reported, the role of pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) in liver fibrogenesis still remains unknown. We examined PKM2 expression and location in liver tissues and primary hepatic cells. The in vitro and in vivo effects of a PKM2 antagonist (shikonin) and its allosteric agent (TEPP-46) on liver fibrosis were investigated in HSCs and liver fibrosis mouse model. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing and immunoprecipitation were performed to identify the relevant molecular mechanisms. PKM2 expression was significantly up-regulated in both mouse and human fibrotic livers compared with normal livers, and mainly detected in activated, rather than quiescent, HSCs. PKM2 knockdown markedly inhibited the activation and proliferation of HSCs in vitro. Interestingly, the PKM2 dimer, rather than the tetramer, induced HSC activation. PKM2 tetramerization induced by TEPP-46 effectively inhibited HSC activation, reduced aerobic glycolysis, and decreased MYC and CCND1 expression via regulating histone H3K9 acetylation in activated HSCs. TEPP-46 and shikonin dramatically attenuated liver fibrosis in vivo. Our findings demonstrate a nonmetabolic role of PKM2 in liver fibrosis. PKM2 tetramerization or suppression could prevent HSC activation and protects against liver fibrosis.

Células Estreladas do Fígado/enzimologia , Cirrose Hepática/enzimologia , Multimerização Proteica , Piruvato Quinase/metabolismo , Acetilação , Animais , Ciclina D1/metabolismo , Feminino , Células Estreladas do Fígado/patologia , Histonas/metabolismo , Humanos , Cirrose Hepática/patologia , Masculino , Camundongos , Compostos Orgânicos/farmacologia , Proteínas Proto-Oncogênicas c-myc/metabolismo
Hepatology ; 68(3): 1125-1139, 2018 09.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29537660


Spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) plays a critical role in immune cell signaling pathways and has been reported as a biomarker for human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We sought to investigate the mechanism by which SYK promotes liver fibrosis and to evaluate SYK as a therapeutic target for liver fibrosis. We evaluated the cellular localization of SYK and the association between SYK expression and liver fibrogenesis in normal, hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected, hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) liver tissue (n=36, 127, 22 and 30, respectively). A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array was used to detect the changes in transcription factor (TF) expression in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) with SYK knockdown. The effects of SYK antagonism on liver fibrogenesis were studied in LX-2 cells, TWNT-4 cells, primary human HSCs, and three progressive fibrosis/cirrhosis animal models, including a CCL4 mouse model, and diethylnitrosamine (DEN) and bile duct ligation (BDL) rat models. We found that SYK protein in HSCs and hepatocytes correlated positively with liver fibrosis stage in human liver tissue. HBV or HCV infection significantly increased SYK and cytokine expression in hepatocytes. Increasing cytokine production further induced SYK expression and fibrosis-related gene transcription in HSCs. Up-regulated SYK in HSCs promoted HSC activation by increasing the expression of specific TFs related to activation of HSCs. SYK antagonism effectively suppressed liver fibrosis via inhibition of HSC activation, and decreased obstructive jaundice and reduced HCC development in animal models. Conclusion: SYK promotes liver fibrosis via activation of HSCs and is an attractive potential therapeutic target for liver fibrosis and prevention of HCC development. (Hepatology 2018).

Células Estreladas do Fígado/efeitos dos fármacos , Indazóis/uso terapêutico , Cirrose Hepática Experimental/enzimologia , Pirazinas/uso terapêutico , Quinase Syk/metabolismo , Animais , Avaliação Pré-Clínica de Medicamentos , Células Hep G2 , Hepatócitos/enzimologia , Humanos , Indazóis/farmacologia , Cirrose Hepática Experimental/prevenção & controle , Masculino , Camundongos Endogâmicos C57BL , Pirazinas/farmacologia , Ratos , Quinase Syk/antagonistas & inibidores
J Exp Clin Cancer Res ; 37(1): 10, 2018 Jan 22.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29357919


BACKGROUND: The high incidence of recurrence and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) necessitate the discovery of new predictive biomarkers of invasion and prognosis. Minichromosome maintenance complex component 6 (MCM6), which has been reported to up-regulate in multiple malignancies, was considered to be a novel diagnoses biomarker in HCC. However, its functional contributions and prognostic value remain unclear. METHODS: The expression of MCM6 was analyzed in 70 HCC tissues and 5 HCC cell lines by immunohistochemistry and real-time RT-PCR. The roles of MCM6 in HCC cell proliferation, migration and invasion were explored by CCK8, Wound healing and Transwell assays, respectively. Western blotting and Immunofluorescence staining were conducted to detect the protein expressions of ERK signaling pathway and EMT-related markers. To verify the above findings in vivo, we established subcutaneous xenograft tumor and orthotopic xenograft tumor models in nude mice. Finally, Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to evaluate the serum MCM6 level. RESULTS: MCM6 was significantly up-regulated in HCC tissues. Increased MCM6 expression was associated with aggressive clinicopathological features and worse prognosis in HCC patients. These results were consistent with our analyses of The Cancer Genome Atlas database (TCGA). Furthermore, knockdown of MCM6 significantly decreased proliferative and migratory/invasive capability of HCC cells in vitro, as well as decreased tumor volume, weight and the number of pulmonary metastases in vivo. Mechanistic analyses indicated that MCM6 promoted EMT and activated MEK/ERK signaling. More importantly, serum MCM6 levels in HCC patients were significantly higher than those in cirrhosis and healthy controls (P < 0.0001), and allowed distinguishing early recurrence with high accuracy (AUC = 0.773). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that MCM6 predicts poor prognosis and promotes metastasis in HCC. Postoperative serum MCM6 level could be valuable to detect preclinical early recurrence, indicative of a need for more careful surveillance and aggressive therapeutic intervention.

Biomarcadores Tumorais , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/metabolismo , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/patologia , Neoplasias Hepáticas/metabolismo , Neoplasias Hepáticas/patologia , Sistema de Sinalização das MAP Quinases , Componente 6 do Complexo de Manutenção de Minicromossomo/sangue , Adulto , Idoso , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/genética , Carcinoma Hepatocelular/mortalidade , Linhagem Celular Tumoral , Transição Epitelial-Mesenquimal/genética , Expressão Gênica , Técnicas de Silenciamento de Genes , Hepatectomia , Humanos , Imuno-Histoquímica , Neoplasias Hepáticas/genética , Neoplasias Hepáticas/mortalidade , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Componente 6 do Complexo de Manutenção de Minicromossomo/genética , Gradação de Tumores , Estadiamento de Neoplasias , Prognóstico , Modelos de Riscos Proporcionais , Curva ROC , Recidiva , Resultado do Tratamento