High expression of 23 kDa protein of augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR) in human hepatocellular carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR) is an important polypeptide that participates in the process of liver regeneration. Two forms of ALR proteins are expressed in hepatocytes. Previous data have shown that ALR is essential for cell survival and has potential antimetastatic properties in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). AIMS:The study aimed to evaluate the expression levels of two forms of ALR proteins in HCC and their possible significance in HCC development. METHODS:Balb/c mouse monoclonal antibody against ALR protein was prepared in order to detect the ALR protein in HCC by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. ALR mRNA expression levels were measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction in HCC tissues and compared to paracancerous liver tissues in 22 HCC patients. RESULTS:ALR mRNA expression in HCC liver tissues (1.51×10(6) copies/?L) was higher than in paracancerous tissues (1.04×10(4) copies/?L). ALR protein expression was also enhanced in HCC liver tissues. The enhanced ALR protein was shown to be 23 kDa by Western blotting. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that the 23 kDa ALR protein mainly existed in the hepatocyte cytosol. CONCLUSION:The 23 kDa ALR protein was highly expressed in HCC and may play an important role in hepatocarcinogenesis.
Project description:Augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR), which is critically important in liver regeneration and hepatocyte proliferation, is highly expressed in cirrhotic livers and hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC). In the current study, the functional role of ALR in hepatocancerogenesis was analyzed in more detail. HepG2 cells, in which the cytosolic 15 kDa ALR isoform was reexpressed stably, (HepG2-ALR) were used in migration and invasion assays using modified Boyden chambers. Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers were determined in HepG2-ALR cells in vitro and in HepG2-ALR tumors grown in nude mice. ALR protein was quantified in HCC and nontumorous tissues by immunohistochemistry. HepG2-ALR, compared with HepG2 cells, demonstrated reduced cell motility and increased expression of the epithelial cell markers E-cadherin and Zona occludens-1 (ZO-1), whereas SNAIL, a negative regulator of E-cadherin, was diminished. Matrix metalloproteinase MMP1 and MMP3 mRNA expression and activity were reduced. HepG2-ALR cell-derived subcutaneously grown tumors displayed fewer necrotic areas, more epithelial-like cell growth and fewer polymorphisms and atypical mitotic figures than tumors derived from HepG2 cells. Analysis of tumor tissues of 53 patients with HCC demonstrated an inverse correlation of ALR protein with histological angioinvasion and grading. The 15 kDa ALR isoform was found mainly in HCC tissues without histological angioinvasion 0. In summary the present data indicate that cytosolic ALR reduces hepatoma cell migration, augments epithelial growth and, therefore, may act as an antimetastatic and EMT reversing protein.
Project description:Augmenter of Liver Regeneration (ALR) is a sulfhydryl oxidase carrying out fundamental functions facilitating protein disulfide bond formation. In mammals, it also functions as a hepatotrophic growth factor that specifically stimulates hepatocyte proliferation and promotes liver regeneration after liver damage or partial hepatectomy. Whether ALR also plays a role during vertebrate hepatogenesis is unknown. In this work, we investigated the function of alr in liver organogenesis in zebrafish model. We showed that alr is expressed in liver throughout hepatogenesis. Knockdown of alr through morpholino antisense oligonucleotide (MO) leads to suppression of liver outgrowth while overexpression of alr promotes liver growth. The small-liver phenotype in alr morphants results from a reduction of hepatocyte proliferation without affecting apoptosis. When expressed in cultured cells, zebrafish Alr exists as dimer and is localized in mitochondria as well as cytosol but not in nucleus or secreted outside of the cell. Similar to mammalian ALR, zebrafish Alr is a flavin-linked sulfhydryl oxidase and mutation of the conserved cysteine in the CxxC motif abolishes its enzymatic activity. Interestingly, overexpression of either wild type Alr or enzyme-inactive Alr(C131S) mutant promoted liver growth and rescued the liver growth defect of alr morphants. Nevertheless, alr(C131S) is less efficacious in both functions. Meantime, high doses of alr MOs lead to widespread developmental defects and early embryonic death in an alr sequence-dependent manner. These results suggest that alr promotes zebrafish liver outgrowth using mechanisms that are dependent as well as independent of its sulfhydryl oxidase activity. This is the first demonstration of a developmental role of alr in vertebrate. It exemplifies that a low-level sulfhydryl oxidase activity of Alr is essential for embryonic development and cellular survival. The dose-dependent and partial suppression of alr expression through MO-mediated knockdown allows the identification of its late developmental role in vertebrate liver organogenesis.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The gene encoding the hepatotrophic factor Augmenter of Liver Regeneration (ALR) has recently been cloned in the rat. The availability of the mouse form of ALR would allow the analysis of the role of this factor in the physiology of liver and other organs, while the identification of the human homolog would allow the transfer of the great wealth of information that has been generated in animal models to clinically oriented pilot trials, and eventually the therapeutic application of this information. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Standard molecular biology approaches have been used to determine the genomic structure of the ALR gene in the mouse, and to characterize the ALR transcript and its protein product. The human ALR cDNA was also isolated and the amino acid sequence of the human gene product deduced. The mapping of mouse and human ALR genes on mouse and human chromosomes was then completed. RESULTS: The protein coding portion of the mouse ALR gene is comprised of three exons, the first containing the 5' untranslated sequence and the initial 18 bases after the ATG translation initiation codon, the second exon encompasses 198 bases, and the third exon contains the remaining portion of the protein coding sequence. Rat, mouse, and human ALR genes (and protein products) were found to be highly conserved and preferentially expressed in the testis and in the liver. The ALR gene maps to the mouse chromosome 17, in a region syntenic with human chromosome 16, where the T/t region has also been mapped. CONCLUSIONS: ALR appears to be a protein with important physiologic properties, not exclusively limited to liver regeneration, with roles that are involved in the synthesis or stability of the nuclear and mitochondrial transcripts that are present in actively regenerating cells, particularly the germ cells of the testes.
Project description:A full-length cDNA clone encoding a purified augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR) factor prepared from the cytosol of weanling rat livers was isolated. The 1.2-kb cDNA included a 299-bp 5' untranslated region, a 375-bp coding region, and a 550-bp 3' untranslated region. It encoded a protein consisting of 125 amino acids. The molecular weight of ALR calculated from the cDNA was 15,081, which is consistent with the size estimated by SDS/PAGE under reducing conditions. The molecular weight of the purified native ALR estimated by SDS/PAGE under nonreducing conditions was approximately 30,000; thus ALR apparently has a homodimeric structure. The recombinant ALR produced by expression of the cDNA in COS cells was tested in vivo in the canine Eck fistula model and found to have potency equivalent to the purified native ALR. The 125-aa sequence deduced from the rat ALR cDNA shows 50% homology to the amino acid sequence of the gene for oxidative phosphorylation and vegetative growth in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Project description:Augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR, encoded by GFER) is a widely distributed pleiotropic protein originally identified as a hepatic growth factor. However, little is known about its roles in hepatic physiology and pathology. We created mice with liver-specific deletion of ALR to study its function.We developed mice with liver-specific deletion of ALR (ALR-L-KO) using the albumin-Cre/LoxP system. Liver tissues were collected from ALR-L-KO mice and ALR(floxed/floxed) mice (controls) and analyzed by histology, reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, and techniques to measure fibrosis and lipids. Liver tissues from patients with and without advanced liver disease were determined by immunoblot analysis.Two weeks after birth, livers of ALR-L-KO mice contained low levels of ALR and adenosine triphosphate (ATP); they had reduced mitochondrial respiratory function and increased oxidative stress, compared with livers from control mice, and had excessive steatosis, and hepatocyte apoptosis. Levels of carbamyl-palmitoyl transferase 1a and ATP synthase subunit ATP5G1 were reduced in livers of ALR-L-KO mice, indicating defects in mitochondrial fatty acid transport and ATP synthesis. Electron microscopy showed mitochondrial swelling with abnormalities in shapes and numbers of cristae. From weeks 2-4 after birth, levels of steatosis and apoptosis decreased in ALR-L-KO mice, and numbers of ALR-expressing cells increased, along with ATP levels. However, at weeks 4-8 after birth, livers became inflamed, with hepatocellular necrosis, ductular proliferation, and fibrosis; hepatocellular carcinoma developed by 1 year after birth in nearly 60% of the mice. Hepatic levels of ALR were also low in ob/ob mice and alcohol-fed mice with liver steatosis, compared with controls. Levels of ALR were lower in liver tissues from patients with advanced alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis than in control liver tissues.We developed mice with liver-specific deletion of ALR, and showed that it is required for mitochondrial function and lipid homeostasis in the liver. ALR-L-KO mice provide a useful model for investigating the pathogenesis of steatohepatitis and its complications.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer, and the fourth leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide. It is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, and hence typically has a poor prognosis. A number of distinct molecules have been recently identified as playing a role in the control of cancer progression. However, patients with HCC have a highly variable clinical course, indicating that HCC comprises several biologically distinctive subgroups reflecting a molecular heterogeneity of the tumors. To evaluate potential biomarkers in HCC, we employed multiple methods in this study, including qPCR, immunostaining methods and tissue microarrays (TMAs), as well as histological and pathological analysis, to assess TGFβ, XPO4, elF5A2 and ANGPTL4 in cancerous and paracancerous liver tissues from 280 patients suffering from liver cancer. Our results found that all four indicators were located in the cytoplasm and distributed in cancerous and paracancerous liver tissues. Generally, there were higher levels of these indicators in paracancerous, compared with cancerous, liver tissues. These four indicators were correlated and modulated among each other. In connection with patient clinical and revisit information, statistical analysis determined that TGFβ1 in paracancerous liver tissue was positively correlated with tumor size. Higher production of TGFβ1 in paracancerous liver tissue was always associated with bigger liver tumors. XPO4 in cancerous liver tissue and TGFβ1 in paracancerous liver tissue were positively correlated with tumor differentiation. TGFβ1, ANGPTL4 and elF5A2 were also positively correlated with the T classification of tumors. Additionally, higher levels of XPO4 in cancerous liver tissue suggested that the patient would have a better prognosis and survival rate. However, higher production of XPO4 in paracancerous liver tissue suggested a worse prognosis. All the results above provide new insights into better understanding biological indicators, such as XPO4, TGFβ1, ANGPTL4 and elF5A2, in the prediction and evaluation of liver cancer, as well as signaling pathways in the control of liver cancer. XPO4 and TGFβ1 may serve as useful markers to evaluate the size and prognosis of liver cancer.
Project description:Levels of augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR), a multifunctional protein, are reduced in steatohepatitis. ALR depletion from ALR flox/flox/Alb-Cre [ALR-L-knockout (KO)] mouse causes robust steatosis and apoptosis of hepatocytes, and pericellular fibrosis between 1 and 2 wk postbirth. Steatosis regresses by 4 wk upon reappearance of ALR-expressing hepatocytes. We investigated mechanisms of ALR depletion-induced steatosis. ALR-L-KO mice (1-, 2-, and 4 wk old) and Adeno-Cre-transfected ALR flox/flox hepatocytes were used for in vivo and in vitro studies. ALR depletion from hepatocytes in vivo downregulated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-?, carnitine palmitoyl transferase I (CPT1)a, peroxisomal membrane protein 70 (PMP70) (modest down-regulation), and acyl-CoA oxidase 1 (ACOX1). The markedly up-regulated (20X) novel microRNA-540 (miR-540) was identified to target PPAR?, PMP70, ACOX1, and CPT1a. ALR depletion from primary hepatocytes increased oxidative stress, miR-540 expression, and steatosis and down-regulated PPAR?, ACOX1, PMP70, and CPT1a expression. Anti-miR-540 mitigated ALR depletion-induced steatosis and prevented loss of PPAR?, ACOX1, PMP70, and CPT1a expression. Antioxidant N-acetylcysteine and recombinant ALR (rALR) both inhibited ALR depletion-induced miR-540 expression and lipid accumulation in hepatocytes. Finally, treatment of ALR-L-KO mice with rALR between 1 and 2 wk prevented miR-540 expression, and arrested steatosis and fibrosis. We conclude that ALR deficiency-mediated oxidative stress induces generation of miR-540, which promotes steatosis by dysregulating peroxisomal and mitochondrial lipid homeostasis.-Kumar, S., Rani, R., Karns, R., Gandhi, C. R. Augmenter of liver regeneration protein deficiency promotes hepatic steatosis by inducing oxidative stress and microRNA-540 expression.
Project description:Why only a subpopulation (about 15%) of humans develops liver cirrhosis due to alcohol is a critical as yet unanswered question. Liver-specific depletion of augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR) protein in mice causes robust steatosis and hepatocyte apoptosis by 2 weeks; these pathologies regress subsequently with return of ALR expression even at lower than control levels, but the mice develop modest steatohepatitis by 8 weeks. We aimed to investigate whether chronic alcohol ingestion promotes excessive hepatic fibrosis in these ALR-deficient mice. Liver-specific ALR-deficient and wild type (WT) female mice (8-10 weeks old) were placed on 4% alcohol-supplemented or isocaloric diet for 4 weeks. Liver sections were examined for histopathology, and parameters of steatosis and fibrosis were quantified. The mRNA expression of alcohol dehydrogenase-1, acetaldehyde dehydrogenase-1 and cytochrome P450-2E1 increased in WT mice but decreased in ALR-deficient mice upon alcohol ingestion. While alcohol induced steatosis and mild inflammation in WT mice, ALR-deficient mice showed minimal steatosis, strong hepatocellular injury and inflammation, prominent ductular proliferation, and robust fibrosis. Compared to the WT mice, alcohol feeding of ALR-deficient mice resulted in significantly greater increase in hepatic TNF? and TGF?, and oxidative stress; there was also hepatic iron accumulation, robust lipid peroxidation and mitochondrial DNA damage. Importantly, similar to ALR-deficient mice, lower hepatic ALR levels in human alcoholic liver cirrhosis were associated with increased iron content, reduced expression of alcohol dehydrogenase and acetaldehyde dehydrogenase, and elevated fibrogenic markers. We conclude that ALR deficiency or anomaly can play a critical role in alcohol-induced hepatic fibrosis/cirrhosis, mechanisms of which may involve dysregulation of alcohol metabolism and iron homeostasis, mitochondrial damage and oxidative injury.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) covers a spectrum from simple steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis. Free fatty acids (FFA) induce steatosis and lipo-toxicity and correlate with severity of NAFLD. In this study we aimed to investigate the role of exogenous and endogenous ALR (augmenter of liver regeneration) for FFA induced ER (endoplasmatic reticulum) -stress and lipoapoptosis. Primary human hepatocytes or hepatoma cells either treated with recombinant human ALR (rhALR, 15kDa) or expressing short form ALR (sfALR, 15kDa) were incubated with palmitic acid (PA) and analyzed for lipo-toxicity, -apoptosis, activation of ER-stress response pathways, triacylglycerides (TAG), mRNA and protein expression of lipid metabolizing genes. Both, exogenous rhALR and cytosolic sfALR reduced PA induced caspase 3 activity and Bax protein expression and therefore lipotoxicity. Endogenous sfALR but not rhALR treatment lowered TAG levels, diminished activation of ER-stress mediators C-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), X-box binding protein-1 (XBP1) and proapoptotic transcription factor C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP), and reduced death receptor 5 protein expression. Cellular ALR exerts its lipid lowering and anti-apoptotic actions by enhancing FABP1, which binds toxic FFA, increasing mitochondrial ?-oxidation by elevating the mitochondrial FFA transporter CPT1?, and decreasing ELOVL6, which delivers toxic FFA metabolites. We found reduced hepatic mRNA levels of ALR in a high fat diet mouse model, and of ALR and FOXA2, a transcription factor inducing ALR expression, in human steatotic as well as NASH liver samples, which may explain increased lipid deposition and reduced ?-oxidation in NASH patients. Present study shows that exogenous and endogenous ALR reduce PA induced lipoapoptosis. Furthermore, cytosolic sfALR changes mRNA and protein expression of genes regulating lipid metabolism, reduces ER-stress finally impeding progression of NASH.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To study the role of miRNA-181a and augmenter of liver regeneration in TGF-?-induced fibrosis in hepatic stellate cells.<h4>Methods</h4>LX2 cells were treated with 20 ng/ml TGF-? for 24 h. miRNA-181a, ALR plasmid and empty vectors were transfected using siPORT NeoFx reagent. Cells were harvested after 48 h or 72 h of transfection for protein or RNA analysis. Western blotting was performed for ALR, TGF-? receptor II (TGF?-RII), collagen 1A1 (COLL1A1), alpha-smooth muscle cell actin (?-SMA), rac1, E-cadherin and ?-actin. Quantitative RT-PCR was performed for ALR, GAPDH, miRNA-181a or 5S rRNA.<h4>Results</h4>TGF-? induced the expression of miRNA-181a, which in turn down-regulated ALR thereby induced the fibrosis markers, such as COLL1A1, ?-SMA and rac1 in hepatic stellate cells. Over-expression of miRNA-181a down-regulated expression of ALR and up-regulated expression of fibrosis markers. On the other hand, ALR over-expression resulted in a decrease in miRNA-181a expression and fibrosis markers. Over-expression of ALR also inhibited the expression of TGF?-RII and increased expression E-cadherin.<h4>Conclusion</h4>TGF-? induced miRNA-181a, which in turn induced fibrosis, at least in part, by inhibiting ALR. ALR inhibited TGF-? action by decreasing the expression of TGF?-RII, thereby inhibiting miRNA-181a expression and fibrosis markers. ALR could serve as a potential molecule to inhibit liver fibrosis.