Shotgun proteomics: identification of unique protein profiles of apoptotic bodies from biliary epithelial cells.
ABSTRACT: Shotgun proteomics is a powerful analytic method to characterize complex protein mixtures in combination with multidimensional liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). We used this platform for proteomic characterization of apoptotic bodies in an effort to define the complex protein mixtures found in primary cultures of human intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells (HiBEC), human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells, human bronchial epithelial cells, isolated intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells from explanted primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), and control liver using a total of 24 individual samples. Further, as additional controls and for purposes of comparison, proteomic signatures were also obtained from intact cells and apoptotic bodies. The data obtained from LC-MS/MS, combined with database searches and protein assembly algorithms, allowed us to address significant differences in protein spectral counts and identify unique pathways that may be a component of the induction of the signature inflammatory cytokine response against BECs, including the Notch signaling pathway, interleukin (IL)8, IL6, CXCR2, and integrin signaling. Indeed, there are 11 proteins that localize specifically to apoptotic bodies of HiBEC and eight proteins that were specifically absent in HiBEC apoptotic bodies.Proteomic analysis of BECs from PBC liver compared to normal liver are significantly different, suggesting that an immunological attack affects the repertoire of proteins expressed and that such cells should be thought of as living in an environment undergoing continuous selection secondary to an innate and adaptive immune response, reflecting an almost "Darwinian" bias.
Project description:Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a carbohydrate binding lectin, with multiple roles in inflammatory diseases and autoimmunity including its antiapoptotic effect on epithelial cells. In particular, increased expression of Gal-3 in epithelial cells is protective from apoptosis. Based on the thesis that apoptosis of biliary epithelial cells (BECs) is critical to the pathogenesis of Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC), we have analyzed the role of Gal-3 in the murine model of autoimmune cholangitis. We took advantage of Gal-3 knockout mice and immunized them with a mimotope of the major mitochondrial autoantigen of PBC, 2-octynoic acid (2-OA) coupled to BSA (2OA-BSA) and evaluated the natural history of subsequent disease, compared to control wild-type mice, by measuring levels of antibodies to PDC-E2, immunohistology of liver, and expression of Gal-3. We report herein that deletion of Gal-3 significantly exacerbates autoimmune cholangitis in these mice. This is manifested by increased periportal infiltrations, bile duct damage, granulomas and fibrosis. Interestingly, the BECs of Gal-3 knockout mice had a higher response to apoptotic stimuli and there were more pro-inflammatory lymphocytes and dendritic cells (DCs) in the livers of Gal-3 knockout mice. In conclusion, Gal-3 plays a protective role in the pathways that lead to the inflammatory destruction of biliary epithelial cells.
Project description:Malformations of the intrahepatic biliary structure cause cholestasis, a liver pathology that corresponds to poor bile flow, which leads to inflammation, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Although the specification of biliary epithelial cells (BECs) that line the bile ducts is fairly well understood, the molecular mechanisms underlying intrahepatic biliary morphogenesis remain largely unknown. Wnt/?-catenin signaling plays multiple roles in liver biology; however, its role in intrahepatic biliary morphogenesis remains unclear. Using pharmacological and genetic tools that allow one to manipulate Wnt/?-catenin signaling, we show that in zebrafish both suppression and overactivation of Wnt/?-catenin signaling impaired intrahepatic biliary morphogenesis. Hepatocytes, but not BECs, exhibited Wnt/?-catenin activity; and the global suppression of Wnt/?-catenin signaling reduced Notch activity in BECs. Hepatocyte-specific suppression of Wnt/?-catenin signaling also reduced Notch activity in BECs, indicating a cell nonautonomous role for Wnt/?-catenin signaling in regulating hepatic Notch activity. Reducing Notch activity to the same level as that observed in Wnt-suppressed livers also impaired biliary morphogenesis. Intriguingly, expression of the Notch ligand genes jag1b and jag2b in hepatocytes was reduced in Wnt-suppressed livers and enhanced in Wnt-overactivated livers, revealing their regulation by Wnt/?-catenin signaling. Importantly, restoring Notch activity rescued the biliary defects observed in Wnt-suppressed livers. CONCLUSION:Wnt/?-catenin signaling cell nonautonomously controls Notch activity in BECs by regulating the expression of Notch ligand genes in hepatocytes, thereby regulating biliary morphogenesis. (Hepatology 2018;67:2352-2366).
Project description:Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is characterized by chronic nonsuppurative destructive cholangitis (CNSDC) associated with destruction of small bile ducts. Although there have been significant advances in the dissection of the adaptive immune response against the mitochondrial autoantigens, there are increasing data that suggest a contribution of innate immune mechanisms in inducing chronic biliary pathology. We have taken advantage of our ability to isolate subpopulations of liver mononuclear cells (LMC) and examined herein the role of Toll-like receptors (TLRs), their ligands, and natural killer (NK) cells in modulating cytotoxic activity against biliary epithelial cells (BECs). In particular, we demonstrate that Toll-like receptor 4 ligand (TLR4-L)-stimulated NK cells destroy autologous BECs in the presence of interferon alpha (IFN-?) synthesized by TLR 3 ligand (TLR3-L)-stimulated monocytes (Mo). Indeed, IFN-? production by hepatic Mo is significantly increased in patients with PBC compared to disease controls. There were also marked increases in the cytotoxic activity of hepatic NK cells from PBC patients compared to NK cells from controls but only when the NK cells were prepared following ligation of both TLR3-L- and TLR4-L-stimulated LMC. These functional data are supported by the immunohistochemical observation of an increased presence of CD56-positive NK cells scattered around destroyed small bile ducts more frequently in liver tissues from PBC patients than controls.These data highlight critical differences in the varied roles of Mo and NK cells following TLR3-L and TLR4-L stimulation.
Project description:A major enigma of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is the selective targeting of biliary cells. Our laboratory has reported that after apoptosis, human intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells (HiBECs) translocate the E2 subunit of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex immunologically intact into apoptotic bodies, forming an apotope. However, the cell type and specificity of this reaction has not been fully defined. To address this issue, we investigated whether the E2 subunit of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, the E2 subunit of the branched chain 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase complex, the E2 subunit of the oxo-glutarate dehydrogenase complex, four additional inner mitochondrial enzymes, and four nuclear antigens remain immunologically intact with respect to postapoptotic translocation in HiBECs and three additional control epithelial cells. We report that all three 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase enzymes share the ability to remain intact within the apotope of HiBECs. Interestingly, the E2 subunit of the branched chain 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase complex also remained intact in the other cell types tested. We extended the data, using sera from 95 AMA-positive and 19 AMA-negative patients with PBC and 76 controls, by testing for reactivity against the seven mitochondrial proteins studied herein and also the ability of AMA-negative sera to react with HiBEC apotopes. Sera from 3 of 95 AMA-positive sera, but none of the controls, reacted with 2,4-dienoyl coenzyme A reductase 1, an enzyme also present intact only in the HiBEC apotope, but which has not been previously associated with any autoimmune disease. Finally, the specificity of HiBEC apotope reactivity was confined to AMA-positive sera.We submit that the biliary specificity of PBC is secondary to the unique processes of biliary apoptosis.
Project description:Under various conditions of liver injury, the intrahepatic biliary epithelium undergoes dynamic tissue expansion and remodeling, a process known as ductular reaction. Mouse models defective in inducing such a tissue-remodeling process are more susceptible to liver injury, suggesting a crucial role of this process in liver regeneration. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating the biliary epithelial cell (BEC) dynamics in the ductular reaction remain largely unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 5 (Klf5) is highly enriched in mouse liver BECs and plays a key role in regulating the ductular reaction, specifically under cholestatic injury conditions. Although mice lacking Klf5 in the entire liver epithelium, including both hepatocytes and BECs (Klf5-LKO (liver epithelial-specific knockout) mice), did not exhibit any apparent phenotype in the hepatobiliary system under normal conditions, they exhibited significant defects in biliary epithelial tissue remodeling upon 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine-induced cholangitis, concomitantly with exacerbated cholestasis and reduced survival rate. In contrast, mice lacking Klf5 solely in hepatocytes did not exhibit any such phenotypes, confirming Klf5's specific role in BECs. RNA-sequencing analyses of BECs isolated from the Klf5-LKO mouse livers revealed that the Klf5 deficiency primarily affected expression of cell cycle-related genes. Moreover, immunostaining analysis with the proliferation marker Ki67 disclosed that the Klf5-LKO mice had significantly reduced BEC proliferation levels upon injury. These results indicate that Klf5 plays a critical role in the ductular reaction and biliary epithelial tissue expansion and remodeling by inducing BEC proliferation and thereby contributing to liver regeneration.
Project description:Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinomas (ICCs) are primary liver tumors with a poor prognosis. The development of effective therapies has been hampered by a limited understanding of the biology of ICCs. Although ICCs exhibit heterogeneity in location, histology, and marker expression, they are currently thought to derive invariably from the cells lining the bile ducts, biliary epithelial cells (BECs), or liver progenitor cells (LPCs). Despite lack of experimental evidence establishing BECs or LPCs as the origin of ICCs, other liver cell types have not been considered. Here we show that ICCs can originate from fully differentiated hepatocytes. Using a mouse model of hepatocyte fate tracing, we found that activated NOTCH and AKT signaling cooperate to convert normal hepatocytes into biliary cells that act as precursors of rapidly progressing, lethal ICCs. Our findings suggest a previously overlooked mechanism of human ICC formation that may be targetable for anti-ICC therapy.
Project description:Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a chronic cholestatic liver disease associated with autoimmune phenomena targeting intrahepatic bile duct cells (cholangiocytes). Although its etiopathogenesis remains obscure, development of antimitochondrial autoantibodies against pyruvate dehydrogenase complex E2 is a common feature. MicroRNA (miR) dysregulation occurs in liver and immune cells of PBC patients, but its functional relevance is largely unknown. We previously reported that miR-506 is overexpressed in PBC cholangiocytes and directly targets both Cl- / HCO3- anion exchanger 2 and type III inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor, leading to cholestasis. Here, the regulation of miR-506 gene expression and its role in cholangiocyte pathophysiology and immune activation was studied. Several proinflammatory cytokines overexpressed in PBC livers (such as interleukin-8 [IL8], IL12, IL17, IL18, and tumor necrosis factor alpha) stimulated miR-506 promoter activity in human cholangiocytes, as revealed by luciferase reporter assays. Experimental overexpression of miR-506 in cholangiocytes dysregulated the cell proteomic profile (by mass spectrometry), affecting proteins involved in different biological processes including mitochondrial metabolism. In cholangiocytes, miR-506 (1) induced dedifferentiation with down-regulation of biliary and epithelial markers together with up-regulation of mesenchymal, proinflammatory, and profibrotic markers; (2) impaired cell proliferation and adhesion; (3) increased oxidative and endoplasmic reticulum stress; (4) caused DNA damage; and (5) sensitized to caspase-3-dependent apoptosis induced by cytotoxic bile acids. These events were also associated with impaired energy metabolism in mitochondria (proton leak and less adenosine triphosphate production) and pyruvate dehydrogenase complex E2 overexpression. Coculture of miR-506 overexpressing cholangiocytes with PBC immunocytes induced activation and proliferation of PBC immunocytes. CONCLUSION:Different proinflammatory cytokines enhance the expression of miR-506 in biliary epithelial cells; miR-506 induces PBC-like features in cholangiocytes and promotes immune activation, representing a potential therapeutic target for PBC patients. (Hepatology 2018;67:1420-1440).
Project description:ER?, one of the classical receptors of estrogen, has been found to be abnormally up-regulated in patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), which is an important factor leading to ductopenia. ER?-mediated signaling pathways are involved in proliferation of human intrahepatic biliary epithelial cells (HiBECs) and portal inflammation. Our previous studies have shown that the expression levels of ER? in the liver tissues of PBC patients are positively correlated with the levels of serum pro-inflammatory cytokines. The present study was designed to assess the relationship between abnormal ER? expression in small bile ducts and the progression of PBC. We examined the levels of multiple cytokines and analyzed their relationship with clinical parameters of livers functions in a cohort of 43 PBC patients and 45 healthy controls (HC). The levels of ER? expression and the relation with the levels of cytokines were further assessed. The localization of cytokines and ER?-mediated signaling pathways in liver were examined using immunohistochemistry. The possible underlying mechanisms of these alterations in PBC were explored in vitro. Our results demonstrated that the levels of IL-6, IL-8, and TNF-? were increased in PBC patients, and positively correlated with the serum AKP levels and ER? expression levels. Moreover, the expression of these cytokines were up-regulated in HiBECs that were stimulated with 17?-estradiol and PPT (an ER? agonist) and they also were positive in intrahepatic bile duct of PBC patients. The ER?-mediated expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines was induced by JNK, P38, and STAT3 phosphorylation in HiBECs. In addition, the CD54 expression was increased in HiBECs after ER? activation, which induced peripheral blood monouclear cells (PBMCs) recruitment. In conclusion, the present study highlighted a key role of abnormal ER? expression in inducing an inflammatory phenotype of HiBECs, which was critical in the development of inflammation and damage in small bile duct.
Project description:Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a chronic cholestatic disease of unknown etiopathogenesis showing progressive autoimmune-mediated cholangitis. In PBC patients, the liver and lymphocytes exhibit diminished expression of AE2/SLC4A2, a Cl-/HCO3- anion exchanger involved in biliary bicarbonate secretion and intracellular pH regulation. Decreased AE2 expression may be pathogenic as Ae2a,b(-/-) mice reproduce hepatobiliary and immunological features resembling PBC. To understand the role of AE2 deficiency for autoimmunity predisposition we focused on the phenotypic changes of T cells that occur over the life-span of Ae2a,b(-/-) mice. At early ages (1-9 months), knockout mice had reduced numbers of intrahepatic T cells, which exhibited increased activation, programmed-cell-death (PD)-1 expression, and apoptosis. Moreover, young knockouts had upregulated PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) on bile-duct cells, and administration of neutralizing anti-PD-L1 antibodies prevented their intrahepatic T-cell deletion. Older (? 10 months) knockouts, however, showed intrahepatic accumulation of cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells with downregulated PD-1 and diminished apoptosis. In-vitro DNA demethylation with 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine partially reverted PD-1 downregulation of intrahepatic CD8(+) T cells from aged knockouts.Early in life, AE2 deficiency results in intrahepatic T-cell activation and PD-1/PD-L1 mediated deletion. With aging, intrahepatic CD8+ T cells epigenetically suppress PD-1, and their consequential expansion and further activation favor autoimmune cholangitis.
Project description:Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is an immune-mediated chronic cholestatic liver disease with a slowly progressive course. Without treatment, most patients eventually develop fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver and may need liver transplantation in the late stage of disease. PBC primarily affects women (female preponderance 9-10:1) with a prevalence of up to 1 in 1,000 women over 40 years of age. Common symptoms of the disease are fatigue and pruritus, but most patients are asymptomatic at first presentation. The diagnosis is based on sustained elevation of serum markers of cholestasis, i.e., alkaline phosphatase and gamma-glutamyl transferase, and the presence of serum antimitochondrial antibodies directed against the E2 subunit of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. Histologically, PBC is characterized by florid bile duct lesions with damage to biliary epithelial cells, an often dense portal inflammatory infiltrate and progressive loss of small intrahepatic bile ducts. Although the insight into pathogenetic aspects of PBC has grown enormously during the recent decade and numerous genetic, environmental, and infectious factors have been disclosed which may contribute to the development of PBC, the precise pathogenesis remains enigmatic. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is currently the only FDA-approved medical treatment for PBC. When administered at adequate doses of 13-15 mg/kg/day, up to two out of three patients with PBC may have a normal life expectancy without additional therapeutic measures. The mode of action of UDCA is still under discussion, but stimulation of impaired hepatocellular and cholangiocellular secretion, detoxification of bile, and antiapoptotic effects may represent key mechanisms. One out of three patients does not adequately respond to UDCA therapy and may need additional medical therapy and/or liver transplantation. This review summarizes current knowledge on the clinical, diagnostic, pathogenetic, and therapeutic aspects of PBC.