Sortilin 1 Modulates Hepatic Cholesterol Lipotoxicity in Mice via Functional Interaction with Liver Carboxylesterase 1.
ABSTRACT: The liver plays a key role in cholesterol metabolism. Impaired hepatic cholesterol homeostasis causes intracellular free cholesterol accumulation and hepatocyte injury. Sortilin 1 (SORT1) is a lysosomal trafficking receptor that was identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) as a novel regulator of cholesterol metabolism in humans. Here we report that SORT1 deficiency protected against cholesterol accumulation-induced liver injury and inflammation in mice. Using an LC-MS/MS-based proteomics approach, we identified liver carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) as a novel SORT1-interacting protein. Mechanistic studies further showed that SORT1 may regulate CES1 lysosomal targeting and degradation and that SORT1 deficiency resulted in higher liver CES1 protein abundance. Previous studies have established an important role of hepatic CES1 in promoting intracellular cholesterol mobilization, cholesterol efflux, and bile acid synthesis. Consistently, high cholesterol atherogenic diet-challenged Sort1 knock-out mice showed less hepatic free cholesterol accumulation, increased bile acid synthesis, decreased biliary cholesterol secretion, and the absence of gallstone formation. SORT1 deficiency did not alter hepatic ceramide and fatty acid metabolism in high cholesterol atherogenic diet-fed mice. Finally, knockdown of liver CES1 in mice markedly increased the susceptibility to high cholesterol diet-induced liver injury and abolished the protective effect against cholesterol lipotoxicity in Sort1 knock-out mice. In summary, this study identified a novel SORT1-CES1 axis that regulates cholesterol-induced liver injury, which provides novel insights that improve our current understanding of the molecular links between SORT1 and cholesterol metabolism. This study further suggests that therapeutic inhibition of SORT1 may be beneficial in improving hepatic cholesterol homeostasis in metabolic and inflammatory liver diseases.
Project description:Sortilin 1 (Sort1) is an intracellular trafficking receptor that mediates protein sorting in the endocytic or secretory pathways. Recent studies revealed a role of Sort1 in the regulation of cholesterol and bile acid (BA) metabolism. This study further investigated the role of Sort1 in modulating BA detoxification and cholestatic liver injury in bile duct ligated mice. We found that Sort1 knockout (KO) mice had attenuated liver injury 24?h after bile duct ligation (BDL), which was mainly attributed to less bile infarct formation. Sham-operated Sort1 KO mice had about 20% larger BA pool size than sham-operated wildtype (WT) mice, but 24?h after BDL Sort1 KO mice had significantly attenuated hepatic BA accumulation and smaller BA pool size. After 14 days BDL, Sort1 KO mice showed significantly lower hepatic BA concentration and reduced expression of inflammatory and fibrotic marker genes, but similar degree of liver fibrosis compared with WT mice. Unbiased quantitative proteomics revealed that Sort1 KO mice had increased hepatic BA sulfotransferase 2A1, but unaltered phase-I BA metabolizing cytochrome P450s or phase-III BA efflux transporters. Consistently, Sort1 KO mice showed elevated plasma sulfated taurocholate after BDL. Finally, we found that liver Sort1 was repressed after BDL, which may be due to BA activation of farnesoid x receptor. In conclusion, we report a role of Sort1 in the regulation of hepatic BA detoxification and cholestatic liver injury in mice. The mechanisms underlying increased hepatic BA elimination in Sort1 KO mice after BDL require further investigation.
Project description:Hepatic VLDL overproduction is a characteristic feature of diabetes and an important contributor to diabetic dyslipidemia. Hepatic sortilin 1 (Sort1), a cellular trafficking receptor, is a novel regulator of plasma lipid metabolism and reduces plasma cholesterol and triglycerides by inhibiting hepatic apolipoprotein B production. Elevated circulating free fatty acids play key roles in hepatic VLDL overproduction and the development of dyslipidemia. This study investigated the regulation of hepatic Sort1 in obesity and diabetes and the potential implications in diabetic dyslipidemia. Results showed that hepatic Sort1 protein was markedly decreased in mouse models of type I and type II diabetes and in human individuals with obesity and liver steatosis, whereas increasing hepatic Sort1 expression reduced plasma cholesterol and triglycerides in mice. Mechanistic studies showed that the saturated fatty acid palmitate activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and inhibited Sort1 protein by mechanisms involving Sort1 protein ubiquitination and degradation. Consistently, hepatic ERK signaling was activated in diabetic mice, whereas blocking ERK signaling by an ERK inhibitor increased hepatic Sort1 protein in mice. These results suggest that increased saturated fatty acids downregulate liver Sort1 protein, which may contribute to the development of dyslipidemia in obesity and diabetes.
Project description:The liver is a major organ that controls hepatic and systemic homeostasis. Dysregulation of liver metabolism may cause liver injury. Previous studies have demonstrated that carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) regulates hepatic triglyceride metabolism and protects against liver steatosis. In the present study, we investigated whether CES1 played a role in the development of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) and methionine and choline-deficient (MCD) diet-induced liver injury. Both hepatocyte nuclear factor 4? (HNF4?) and CES1 were markedly reduced in patients with alcoholic steatohepatitis. Alcohol repressed both HNF4? and CES1 expression in primary hepatocytes. HNF4? regulated CES1 expression by directly binding to the proximal promoter of CES1. Global inactivation of CES1 aggravated alcohol- or MCD diet-induced liver inflammation and liver injury, likely as a result of increased production of acetaldehyde and reactive oxygen species and mitochondrial dysfunctions. Knockdown of hepatic CES1 exacerbated ethanol-induced steatohepatitis. These data indicate that CES1 plays a crucial role in protection against alcohol- or MCD diet-induced liver injury.
Project description:Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the major health concerns worldwide. Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is considered a therapeutic target for treatment of NAFLD. However, the mechanism by which activation of FXR lowers hepatic triglyceride (TG) levels remains unknown. Here we investigated the role of hepatic carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) in regulating both normal and FXR-controlled lipid homeostasis. Overexpression of hepatic CES1 lowered hepatic TG and plasma glucose levels in both wild-type and diabetic mice. In contrast, knockdown of hepatic CES1 increased hepatic TG and plasma cholesterol levels. These effects likely resulted from the TG hydrolase activity of CES1, with subsequent changes in fatty acid oxidation and/or de novo lipogenesis. Activation of FXR induced hepatic CES1, and reduced the levels of hepatic and plasma TG as well as plasma cholesterol in a CES1-dependent manner.Hepatic CES1 plays a critical role in regulating both lipid and carbohydrate metabolism and FXR-controlled lipid homeostasis.
Project description:Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in the western world. Increased plasma triglyceride and cholesterol levels are major risk factors for this disease. Carboxylesterase 1 (Ces1/Ces1g) has been shown to play a role in metabolic control. So far, the role of mouse Ces1/Ces1g deficiency in atherosclerosis is not elucidated. We generated Ces1/Ces1g -/- mice. Compared to wild-type mice, Ces1/Ces1g -/- mice had reduced plasma cholesterol levels. We then generated Ces1g -/- Ldlr -/- double knockout (DKO) mice, which were fed a Western diet for 16 weeks. Compared to Ldlr -/- mice, DKO mice displayed decreased plasma cholesterol and TG levels and reduced atherosclerotic lesions. Interestingly, knockdown of hepatic Ces1/Ces1g in Apoe -/- mice resulted in hyperlipidemia and exacerbated Western diet-induced atherogenesis. Mechanistically, global inactivation of Ces1/Ces1g inhibited intestinal cholesterol and fat absorption and Niemann-Pick C1 like 1 expression, and increased macrophage cholesterol efflux by inducing ATP-binding cassette subfamily A member 1 (ABCA1) and ABCG1. Ces1/Ces1g ablation also promoted M2 macrophage polarization and induced hepatic cholesterol 7?-hydroxylase and sterol 12?-hydroxylase expression. In conclusion, global loss of Ces1/Ces1g protects against the development of atherosclerosis by inhibiting intestinal cholesterol and triglyceride absorption and promoting macrophage cholesterol efflux.
Project description:The sorting receptor Sortilin functions in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. Dysfunctional lipid uptake, storage, and metabolism contribute to several major human diseases including atherosclerosis and obesity. Sortilin associates with cardiovascular disease; however, the role of Sortilin in adipose tissue and lipid metabolism remains unclear. Here we show that in the low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (Ldlr-/-) atherosclerosis model, Sortilin deficiency (Sort1-/-) in female mice suppresses Niemann-Pick type C1-Like 1 (Npc1l1) mRNA levels, reduces body and white adipose tissue weight, and improves brown adipose tissue function partially via transcriptional downregulation of Krüppel-like factor 4 and Liver X receptor. Female Ldlr-/-Sort1-/- mice on a high-fat/cholesterol diet had elevated plasma Fibroblast growth factor 21 and Adiponectin, an adipokine that when reduced is associated with obesity and cardiovascular disease-related factors. Additionally, Sort1 deficiency suppressed cholesterol absorption in both female mice ex vivo intestinal tissue and human colon Caco-2 cells in a similar manner to treatment with the NPC1L1 inhibitor ezetimibe. Together our findings support a novel role of Sortilin in energy regulation and lipid homeostasis in female mice, which may be a potential therapeutic target for obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Project description:Liver X receptors (LXR? and LXR?) are important regulators of cholesterol and lipid metabolism, and their activation has been shown to inhibit cardiovascular disease and reduce atherosclerosis in animal models. Small molecule agonists of LXR activity are therefore of great therapeutic interest. However, the finding that such agonists also promote hepatic lipogenesis has led to the idea that hepatic LXR activity is undesirable from a therapeutic perspective. To investigate whether this might be true, we performed gene targeting to selectively delete LXR? in hepatocytes. Liver-specific deletion of LXR? in mice substantially decreased reverse cholesterol transport, cholesterol catabolism, and cholesterol excretion, revealing the essential importance of hepatic LXR? for whole body cholesterol homeostasis. Additionally, in a pro-atherogenic background, liver-specific deletion of LXR? increased atherosclerosis, uncovering an important function for hepatic LXR activity in limiting cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, synthetic LXR agonists still elicited anti-atherogenic activity in the absence of hepatic LXR?, indicating that the ability of agonists to reduce cardiovascular disease did not require an increase in cholesterol excretion. Furthermore, when non-atherogenic mice were treated with synthetic LXR agonists, liver-specific deletion of LXR? eliminated the detrimental effect of increased plasma triglycerides, while the beneficial effect of increased plasma HDL was unaltered. In sum, these observations suggest that therapeutic strategies that bypass the liver or limit the activation of hepatic LXRs should still be beneficial for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
Project description:The liver plays a central role in the final elimination of cholesterol from the body either as bile acids or as free cholesterol (FC), and lipoprotein-derived cholesterol is the major source of total biliary cholesterol. HDL is the major lipoprotein responsible for removal and transport of cholesterol, mainly as cholesteryl esters (CEs), from the peripheral tissues to the liver. While HDL-FC is rapidly secreted into bile, the fate of HDL-CE remains unclear. We have earlier demonstrated the role of human CE hydrolase (CEH, CES1) in hepatic hydrolysis of HDL-CE and increasing bile acid synthesis, a process dependent on scavenger receptor BI expression. In the present study, we examined the hypothesis that by enhancing the elimination of HDL-CE into bile/feces, liver-specific transgenic expression of CEH will be anti-atherogenic. Increased CEH expression in the liver significantly increased the flux of HDL-CE to bile acids. In the LDLR(-/-) background, this enhanced elimination of cholesterol led to attenuation of diet-induced atherosclerosis with a consistent increase in fecal sterol secretion primarily as bile acids. Taken together with the observed reduction in atherosclerosis by increasing macrophage CEH-mediated cholesterol efflux, these studies establish CEH as an important regulator in enhancing cholesterol elimination and also as an anti-atherogenic target.
Project description:Liver is the major organ responsible for the final elimination of cholesterol from the body either as biliary cholesterol or as bile acids. Intracellular hydrolysis of lipoprotein-derived cholesteryl esters (CEs) is essential to generate the free cholesterol required for this process. Earlier, we demonstrated that overexpression of human CE hydrolase (Gene symbol CES1) increased bile acid synthesis in human hepatocytes and enhanced reverse cholesterol transport in mice. The objective of the present study was to demonstrate that liver-specific deletion of its murine ortholog, Ces3, would decrease cholesterol elimination from the body and increase atherosclerosis.Liver-specific Ces3 knockout mice (Ces3-LKO) were generated, and Ces3 deficiency did not affect the expression of genes involved in cholesterol homeostasis and free cholesterol or bile acid transport. The effects of Ces3 deficiency on the development of Western diet-induced atherosclerosis were examined in low density lipoprotein receptor knock out(-/-) mice. Despite similar plasma lipoprotein profiles, there was increased lesion development in low density lipoprotein receptor knock out(-/-)Ces3-LKO mice along with a significant decrease in the bile acid content of bile. Ces3 deficiency significantly reduced the flux of cholesterol from [(3)H]-CE-labeled high-density lipoproteins to feces (as free cholesterol and bile acids) and decreased total fecal sterol elimination.Our results demonstrate that hepatic Ces3 modulates the hydrolysis of lipoprotein-delivered CEs and thereby regulates free cholesterol and bile acid secretion into the feces. Therefore, its deficiency results in reduced cholesterol elimination from the body, leading to significant increase in atherosclerosis. Collectively, these data establish the antiatherogenic role of hepatic CE hydrolysis.
Project description:Activation of the nuclear bile acid receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR) protects against hepatic inflammation and injury, while Takeda G protein-coupled receptor 5 (TGR5) promotes adipose tissue browning and energy metabolism. Here, we examined the physiological and metabolic effects of the deficiency of these two bile acid receptors on hepatic metabolism and injury in mice. Fxr/Tgr5 double knockout mice (DKO) were generated for metabolic phenotyping. Male DKO mice fed a chow diet had reduced liver lipid levels but increased serum cholesterol levels. Liver cholesterol 7?-hydroxylase (Cyp7a1) activity and sterol 12?-hydroxylase mRNA levels were induced, while ileum FXR target genes were suppressed in DKO mice compared to wild-type (WT) mice. Bile acid pool size was increased in DKO mice, with increased taurocholic acid and decreased tauromuricholic acids. RNA sequencing analysis of the liver transcriptome revealed that bile acid synthesis and fibrosis gene expression levels are increased in chow-fed DKO mice compared to WT mice and that the top regulated pathways are involved in steroid/cholesterol biosynthesis, liver cirrhosis, and connective tissue disease. Cholestyramine treatment further induced Cyp7a1 mRNA and protein in DKO mice and increased bile acid pool size, while cholic acid also induced Cyp7a1 in DKO mice, suggesting impaired bile acid feedback regulation. A Western diet containing 0.2% cholesterol increased oxidative stress and markers of liver fibrosis but not hepatic steatosis in DKO mice. Conclusion: FXR and TGR5 play critical roles in protecting the liver from inflammation and fibrosis, and deficiency of both of these bile acid receptors in mice increased cholic acid synthesis and the bile acid pool, liver fibrosis, and inflammation; FXR and TGR5 DKO mice may be a model for liver fibrosis.