Transcription profiling by array of genetically engineered murine hepatoma Hepa8F5 cells with eight doxycylcline-inducible liver-enriched transcription factors to study transcription response under induced high liver function
ABSTRACT: We developed genetically engineered Hepa/8F5 cells (available from RIKEN BioResource Center [RCB4661]), in which genes of eight liver-enriched transcription factors (LETFs)—hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-1α, HNF-1β, HNF-3β [FOXA2], HNF-4α, HNF-6, CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP)-α, C/EBP-β and C/EBP-γ—were transduced into murine hepatoma Hepa1-6 cells as drug-inducible expression cassettes [Biochem. Eng. J., 60, 67–73 (2012)]. Hepa/8F5 cells can induce high liver functions by the addition of an inducer drug (doxycycline; Dox) via overexpression of LETF genes.
Project description:Transthyretin is a negative acute phase protein whose serum level decreases during the acute phase response. Transthyretin gene expression in the liver is regulated at the transcriptional level, and is controlled by hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-4α and other HNFs. The site-directed mutagenesis of HNF-4, HNF-1, HNF-3 and HNF-6 binding sites in the transthyretin proximal promoter dramatically decreases transthyretin promoter activity. Interestingly, the mutation of the HNF-4 binding site not only abolishes the response to HNF-4α, but also reduces significantly the response to other HNFs. However, mutation of the HNF-4 binding site merely affects the specific binding of HNF-4α, but not other HNFs, suggesting that an intact HNF-4 binding site not only provides a platform for specific interaction with HNF-4α, but also facilitates the interaction of HNF-4α with other HNFs. In a cytokine-induced acute phase response cell culture model, we observed a significant reduction in the binding of HNF-4α, HNF-1α, HNF-3β and HNF-6α to the transthyretin promoter, which correlates with a decrease in transthyretin expression after injury. These findings provide new insights into the mechanism of the negative transcriptional regulation of the transthyretin gene after injury caused by a decrease in the binding of HNFs and a modulation in their coordinated interactions.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can migrate to tissue injury sites where they can induce multipotential differentiation and anti-inflammation effects to treat tissue injury. When traditional therapeutic methods do not work, MSCs are considered to be one of the best candidates for cell therapy. MSCs have been used for treating several injury- and inflammation-associated diseases, including liver cirrhosis. However, the therapeutic effect of MSCs is limited. In some cases, the anti-inflammatory function of naïve MSCs is not enough to rescue tissue injury. METHODS:Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) was used to establish a mouse liver cirrhosis model. Enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) and hepatocyte nuclear factor-4α (HNF-4α) overexpression adenoviruses were used to modify MSCs. Three weeks after liver injury induction, mice were injected with bone marrow MSCs via their tail vein. The mice were then sacrificed 3 weeks after MSC injection. Liver injury was evaluated by measuring glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (ALT) and glutamic oxalacetic transaminase (AST) levels. Histological and molecular evaluations were performed to study the mechanisms. RESULTS:We found that HNF-4α-overexpressing MSCs had a better treatment effect than unmodified MSCs on liver cirrhosis. In the CCl4-induced mouse liver injury model, we found that HNF-4α-MSCs reduced inflammation in the liver and alleviated liver injury. In addition, we found that HNF-4α promoted the anti-inflammatory effect of MSCs by enhancing nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, which was dependent on the nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signalling pathway. CONCLUSIONS:MSCs overexpressing HNF-4α exerted good therapeutic effects against mouse liver cirrhosis due to an enhanced anti-inflammatory effect. Gene modification is likely a promising method for improving the effects of cell therapy.
Project description:Hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-4α is a key member of the transcription factor network regulating hepatocyte differentiation and function. Genetic and molecular evidence suggests that expression of HNF-4α is mainly regulated at the transcriptional level. Activation of HNF-4A gene involves the interaction of distinct sets of transcription factors and co-transcription factors within enhancer and promoter regions. Here we study the inhibitory effect of microRNAs (miRNAs) on the 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of HNF-4A mRNA. The potential recognition elements of a set of miRNAs were identified utilizing bioinformatics analysis. The family members of miR-34 and miR-449, including miR-34a, miR-34c-5p and miR-449a, share the same target elements located at two distinct locations within the 3'-UTR of HNF-4A. The over-expression of miR-34a, miR-34c-5p or miR-449a in HepG2 cells led to a significant decrease in the activity of luciferase reporter carrying 3'-UTR of HNF-4A. The repressive effect on reporter activity was partially or fully eliminated when one or two of the binding site(s) for miR-34a/miR-34c-5p/miR-449a were deleted within the 3'-UTR. The protein level of HNF-4α was dramatically reduced by over-expression of miR-34a, miR-34c-5p and miR-449a, which correlates with a decrease in the binding activity of HNF-4α and transactivation of HNF-4α target genes. These results suggest that the recognition sites of miR-34a, miR-34c-5p and miR-449a within 3'-UTR of HNF-4A are functional. The mechanism of down-regulation of the binding activity and transactivation of HNF-4α by the miRNAs involves the decrease in HNF-4α protein level via miRNAs selectively targeting HNF-4A 3'-UTR, leading to the translational repression of HNF-4α expression.
Project description:Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common malignant disease of the kidneys in adults. Patients with metastatic RCC have an unusually poor prognosis and exhibit resistance to all current therapies. Therefore, it is necessary to explore novel molecules involved in the progression of RCC and to identify effective therapeutic targets. Hepatocyte nuclear factor‑4α (HNF‑4α) serves an important role in hepatocyte differentiation and is involved in the progression of liver cancer; however, the functional role of HNF‑4α has not been well established in RCC. The present study reported that HNF‑4α expression was markedly downregulated in RCC tissue samples compared with in normal controls by immunohistochemistry and RNA‑sequencing analysis. Statistical analysis demonstrated that HNF‑4α downregulation was significantly associated with tumor stage, recurrence, metastasis and poor prognosis in patients with RCC. Furthermore, wound‑healing and Transwell assays revealed that downregulation of HNF‑4α promoted cell migration and invasion by transcriptionally regulating E‑cadherin in RCC. Finally, a positive correlation was revealed between HNF‑4α expression and E‑cadherin expression, and patients with low E‑cadherin expression also had a poor prognosis. These findings may provide novel insights into the biological effects of HNF‑4α and lay the foundation for the discovery of molecular therapeutic targets in RCC.
Project description:Regulation of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) expression mainly occurs at the transcriptional level. We have previously shown that MTTP gene expression was repressed in nondifferentiated intestinal cells by nuclear receptor 2 family 1 (NR2F1). However, mechanisms involved in the repression of MTP by NR2F1 were not elucidated. Here, we show that MTP expression requires hepatic nuclear factor (HNF)-4α transcription factor. Different HNF-1 proteins synergistically enhance MTP promoter activity along with HNF-4α by binding to different cis elements. NR2F1 does not alter individual effects of HNF-4α and HNF-1 proteins on the MTTP gene promoter. However, NR2F1 suppresses synergistic activation of the MTP promoter by HNF-4α/HNF-1α by binding to a direct repeat 1 (DR1) element. This suppression is further enhanced in the presence of nuclear receptor corepressor 1. In short, these studies identified a novel mechanism of MTP repression that involves binding of NR2F1 to the DR1 element and recruitment of corepressors. In this mechanism, NR2F1 does not affect activities of individual transcription factors; instead, it abrogates synergistic activation by HNF-4α and HNF-1 proteins.
Project description:The hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF-4α; also known as NR2A1) is a member of the nuclear receptor (NR) family of transcription factors, which have conserved DNA-binding domains and ligand-binding domains. HNF-4α is the most abundant DNA-binding protein in the liver, where some 40% of the actively transcribed genes have a HNF-4α response element. These regulated genes are largely involved in the hepatic gluconeogenic program and lipid metabolism. In the pancreas HNF-4α is also a master regulator, controlling an estimated 11% of islet genes. HNF-4α protein mutations are linked to maturity-onset diabetes of the young, type 1 (MODY1) and hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia. Previous structural analyses of NRs, although productive in elucidating the structure of individual domains, have lagged behind in revealing the connectivity patterns of NR domains. Here we describe the 2.9 Å crystal structure of the multidomain human HNF-4α homodimer bound to its DNA response element and coactivator-derived peptides. A convergence zone connects multiple receptor domains in an asymmetric fashion, joining distinct elements from each monomer. An arginine target of PRMT1 methylation protrudes directly into this convergence zone and sustains its integrity. A serine target of protein kinase C is also responsible for maintaining domain-domain interactions. These post-translational modifications lead to changes in DNA binding by communicating through the tightly connected surfaces of the quaternary fold. We find that some MODY1 mutations, positioned on the ligand-binding domain and hinge regions of the receptor, compromise DNA binding at a distance by communicating through the interjunctional surfaces of the complex. The overall domain representation of the HNF-4α homodimer is different from that of the PPAR-γ-RXR-α heterodimer, even when both NR complexes are assembled on the same DNA element. Our findings suggest that unique quaternary folds and interdomain connections in NRs could be exploited by small-molecule allosteric modulators that affect distal functions in these polypeptides.
Project description:To obtain a genomic view of hepatocyte nuclear factor-4α (HNF-4α) in the regulation of the inflammatory response, microarray analysis was used to probe the expression profile of an inflammatory response induced by cytokines in a model of knock-down HNF-4α HepG2 cells. The results indicate an extensive role for HNF-4α plays in the regulation of a large number of the liver-specific genes. Majority of genes (71%) affected by cytokine treatment are also affected by HNF-4α knock-down. This significant overlap suggests that HNF-4α may play a role in regulating the cytokine-induced inflammatory response. Experiment Overall Design: The different treated HepG2 cells were grouped into 4 groups (four replicates in each group): Group1, Control; Group2, HNF-4α shRNA treated cells; Group3, cytokine treated group; Group4, HNF-4α shRNA and cytokine treatments. RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays were processed. The expression profiles between different groups were analyzed and compared. In order to explore the function of HNF-4α in the inflammatory response, a set of 170 genes annotated as inflammatory response was obtained from GO (geneotology.org), the enrichments of these inflammatory genes were analyzed in different treated groups.
Project description:To obtain a genomic view of hepatocyte nuclear factor-4α (HNF-4α) in the regulation of the inflammatory response, microarray analysis was used to probe the expression profile of an inflammatory response induced by cytokines in a model of knock-down HNF-4α HepG2 cells. The results indicate an extensive role for HNF-4α plays in the regulation of a large number of the liver-specific genes. Majority of genes (71%) affected by cytokine treatment are also affected by HNF-4α knock-down. This significant overlap suggests that HNF-4α may play a role in regulating the cytokine-induced inflammatory response. Overall design: The different treated HepG2 cells were grouped into 4 groups (four replicates in each group): Group1, Control; Group2, HNF-4α shRNA treated cells; Group3, cytokine treated group; Group4, HNF-4α shRNA and cytokine treatments. RNA extraction and hybridization on Affymetrix microarrays were processed. The expression profiles between different groups were analyzed and compared. In order to explore the function of HNF-4α in the inflammatory response, a set of 170 genes annotated as inflammatory response was obtained from GO (geneotology.org), the enrichments of these inflammatory genes were analyzed in different treated groups.
Project description:The transcription of several genes that are preferentially expressed in the liver, including the serum albumin, transthyretin and carbamyl phosphate synthetase-I genes, is specifically decreased in animals consuming inadequate amounts of dietary protein. The high level of transcription of these genes in the liver is directed in part by a number of liver-enriched transcription factors, including hepatocyte nuclear factors (HNF)-1, -3, and -4, and proteins of the CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) family. In the present study, we investigated the possibility that the co-ordinate decrease in transcription of the nutritionally sensitive genes in protein-deprived rats results from altered activity of one or more of the liver-enriched transcription factors. For HNF-4, Western blots indicated no change in the level of nuclear HNF-4 protein in liver of protein-deprived animals, whereas we observed a 40% reduction in the DNA binding activity of HNF-4 as measured by electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA). Furthermore, the binding affinity of HNF-4 for DNA was unaltered by dietary protein deprivation, while the number of HNF-4 molecules able to bind to DNA (Bmax) was reduced, as determined by Scatchard analysis. This indicates that in the protein-restricted rats a portion of the pool of HNF-4 protein is inactivated or otherwise prevented from binding to DNA. The overall DNA binding activity of C/EBP alpha and beta was increased in protein-restricted animals. This change occurred in the absence of a change in the amount of the full-length forms of these two proteins, quantified by Western blotting. Interestingly, dietary protein restriction specifically increased the level of a truncated form of C/EBP beta (liver-enriched transcriptional inhibitory protein, LIP), which is a protein dominant negative inhibitor of C/EBP function. Analysis of HNF-3 DNA-binding activity by EMSA revealed that HNF-3 alpha and beta DNA binding was increased and that HNF-3 gamma DNA-binding activity was unchanged in protein-restricted animals. We also detected two apparently novel shift complexes with the HNF-3 probe by EMSA, both of which were decreased in protein-restricted animals. HNF-1 DNA-binding activity was increased by dietary protein restriction. We also examined the effect of protein restriction on the DNA-binding activity of two ubiquitous transcription factors, NF1 and Sp1. The DNA binding activity of the major NF1 isoforms was unchanged whereas the binding activity of Sp1 was increased in the protein-restricted animals. In summary, restriction of dietary protein resulted in a number of specific changes in the DNA-binding activity of various transcription factors. Because transcriptional activation typically involves the synergistic action of more than one transcription factor, small changes in the amount/activity of several factors, could have a strong net effect on the transcription of many genes.
Project description:This review encompasses the most important advances in liver functions and hepatotoxicity and analyzes which mechanisms can be studied in vitro. In a complex architecture of nested, zonated lobules, the liver consists of approximately 80 % hepatocytes and 20 % non-parenchymal cells, the latter being involved in a secondary phase that may dramatically aggravate the initial damage. Hepatotoxicity, as well as hepatic metabolism, is controlled by a set of nuclear receptors (including PXR, CAR, HNF-4α, FXR, LXR, SHP, VDR and PPAR) and signaling pathways. When isolating liver cells, some pathways are activated, e.g., the RAS/MEK/ERK pathway, whereas others are silenced (e.g. HNF-4α), resulting in up- and downregulation of hundreds of genes. An understanding of these changes is crucial for a correct interpretation of in vitro data. The possibilities and limitations of the most useful liver in vitro systems are summarized, including three-dimensional culture techniques, co-cultures with non-parenchymal cells, hepatospheres, precision cut liver slices and the isolated perfused liver. Also discussed is how closely hepatoma, stem cell and iPS cell-derived hepatocyte-like-cells resemble real hepatocytes. Finally, a summary is given of the state of the art of liver in vitro and mathematical modeling systems that are currently used in the pharmaceutical industry with an emphasis on drug metabolism, prediction of clearance, drug interaction, transporter studies and hepatotoxicity. One key message is that despite our enthusiasm for in vitro systems, we must never lose sight of the in vivo situation. Although hepatocytes have been isolated for decades, the hunt for relevant alternative systems has only just begun.