Soluble Egg Antigens of Schistosoma japonicum Induce Senescence of Activated Hepatic Stellate Cells by Activation of the FoxO3a/SKP2/P27 Pathway.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Liver fibrosis was viewed as a reversible process. The activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is a key event in the process of liver fibrosis. The induction of senescence of HSCs would accelerate the clearance of the activated HSCs. Previously, we demonstrated that soluble egg antigens (SEA) of Schistosoma japonicum promoted the senescence of HSCs via STAT3/P53/P21 pathway. In this paper, our study was aimed to explore whether there are other signaling pathways in the process of SEA-induced HSCs aging and the underlying effect of SKP2/P27 signal on senescent HSCs. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Human hepatic stellate cell line, LX-2 cells, were cultured and stimulated with SEA. Western blot and cellular immunofluorescence analysis were performed to determine the expression of senescence-associated protein, such as P27, SKP2 and FoxO3a. Besides, RNA interfering was applied to knockdown the expression of related protein. The senescence of HSCs was determined by senescence-associated ?-gal staining. We found that SEA increased the expression of P27 protein, whereas it inhibited the expression of SKP2 and FoxO3a. Knockdown of P27 as well as overexpression of SKP2 both suppressed the SEA-induced senescence of HSCs. In addition, the nuclear translocation of FoxO3a from the nucleus to the cytoplasm was induced by SEA stimulation. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:The present study demonstrates that SEA promotes HSCs senescence through the FoxO3a/SKP2/P27 pathway.
Project description:Schistosomiasis is characterized by egg deposition, granulomatous inflammatory reaction and then subsequent hepatic fibrosis formation. Activated HSCs are regarded as the main effector cells in the progression of liver fibrosis and induction of senescence in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is vital to the reversion of hepatic fibrosis. Our previous work has showed that S. japonicum egg antigen p40 (Sjp40) could promote HSCs senescence via a STAT3/p53/p21 mechanism. In this paper, the major aim was to explore whether there are other signaling pathways in the process of Sjp40-induced HSCs aging and the underlying effect of SKP2/P27 signal pathway in this procedure. We observed the Sjp40-induced decrease of ?-SMA and the senescence of LX-2 cells, and Sjp40 could upregulate P27 and downregulate the protein level of SKP2. The senescence induced by Sjp40 might be reversed in LX-2 cells that treated with P27-specific siRNA or with SKP2-special over-expression plasmid. In addition, we also demonstrated that the decreased expression of P-Rb and ?-SMA induced by Sjp40 were partly restored by SKP2-overexpression. These data suggest that Sjp40 might inhibit HSCs activation by promoting cellular senescence via SKP2/P27 signaling pathway, which put forward novel mechanism in the treatment of liver fibrosis.
Project description:Hepatic fibrosis in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis determines patient prognosis; however, effective treatment for fibrosis has not been established. Oxidative stress and inflammation activate hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and promote fibrosis. In contrast, cellular senescence inhibits HSCs' activity and limits fibrosis. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of IGF-I on NASH and cirrhotic models and to clarify the underlying mechanisms. We demonstrate that IGF-I significantly ameliorated steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis in a NASH model, methionine-choline-deficient diet-fed db/db mice and ameliorated fibrosis in cirrhotic model, dimethylnitrosamine-treated mice. As the underlying mechanisms, IGF-I improved oxidative stress and mitochondrial function in the liver. In addition, IGF-I receptor was strongly expressed in HSCs and IGF-I induced cellular senescence in HSCs in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, in mice lacking the key senescence regulator p53, IGF-I did not induce cellular senescence in HSCs or show any effects on fibrosis. Taken together, these results indicate that IGF-I induces senescence of HSCs, inactivates these cells and limits fibrosis in a p53-dependent manner and that IGF-I may be applied to treat NASH and cirrhosis.
Project description:Skp2 (S-phase kinase-associated protein-2) SCF complex displays E3 ligase activity and oncogenic activity by regulating protein ubiquitination and degradation, in turn regulating cell cycle entry, senescence and tumorigenesis. The maintenance of the integrity of Skp2 SCF complex is critical for its E3 ligase activity. The Skp2 F-box protein is a rate-limiting step and key factor in this complex, which binds to its protein substrates and triggers ubiquitination and degradation of its substrates. Skp2 is found to be overexpressed in numerous human cancers, which has an important role in tumorigenesis. The molecular mechanism by which the function of Skp2 and Skp2 SCF complex is regulated remains largely unknown. Here we show that Foxo3a transcription factor is a novel and negative regulator of Skp2 SCF complex. Foxo3a is found to be a transcriptional repressor of Skp2 gene expression by directly binding to the Skp2 promoter, thereby inhibiting Skp2 protein expression. Surprisingly, we found for the first time that Foxo3a also displays a transcription-independent activity by directly interacting with Skp2 and disrupting Skp2 SCF complex formation, in turn inhibiting Skp2 SCF E3 ligase activity and promoting p27 stability. Finally, we show that the oncogenic activity of Skp2 is repressed by Foxo3a overexpression. Our results not only reveal novel insights into how Skp2 SCF complex is regulated, but also establish a new role for Foxo3a in tumor suppression through a transcription-dependent and independent manner.
Project description:?-Calcitonin gene-related peptide (?-CGRP) is a 37-amino acid neuropeptide involved in several pathophysiological processes. ?-CGRP is involved in the regulation of cholangiocyte proliferation during cholestasis. In this study, we aimed to evaluate if ?-CGRP regulates bile duct ligation (BDL)-induced liver fibrosis by using a ?-CGRP knockout (?-CGRP-/-) mouse model. ?-CGRP-/- and wild-type (WT) mice were subjected to sham surgery or BDL for 7 days. Then, liver fibrosis and cellular senescence as well as the expression of kinase such as p38 and C-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK) in mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathway were evaluated in total liver, together with measurement of cellular senescence in cholangiocytes or hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). There was enhanced hepatic expression of Calca (coding ?-CGRP) and the CGRP receptor components (CRLR, RAMP-1 and RCP) in BDL and in both WT ?-CGRP-/- and BDL ?-CGRP-/- mice, respectively. Moreover, there was increased CGRP serum levels and hepatic mRNA expression of CALCA and CGRP receptor components in late-stage PSC samples compared to healthy control samples. Depletion of ?-CGRP reduced liver injury and fibrosis in BDL mice that was associated with enhanced cellular senescence of hepatic stellate cells and reduced senescence of cholangiocytes as well as decreased activation of p38 and JNK MAPK signaling pathway. Cholangiocyte supernatant from BDL ?-CGRP-/- mice inhibited the activation and increased cellular senescence of cultured human HSCs (HHSCs) compared to HHSCs stimulated with BDL cholangiocyte supernatant. Taken together, endogenous ?-CGRP promoted BDL-induced cholestatic liver fibrosis through differential changes in senescence of HSCs and cholangiocytes and activation of p38 and JNK signaling. Modulation of ?-CGRP/CGRP receptor signaling may be key for the management of biliary senescence and liver fibrosis in cholangiopathies.
Project description:The endocannabinoid system (CS) has been implicated in the development of hepatic fibrosis such as schistosomiasis-associated liver fibrosis (SSLF). However, the mechanisms mediating the action of the CS in hepatic fibrosis are unclear. The present study hypothesized that Schistosoma J. infection upregulates cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) due to activation of NADPH oxidase leading to a fibrotic phenotype in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). The SSLF model was developed by infecting mice with Schistosoma J. cercariae in the skin, and HSCs from control and infected mice were then isolated, cultured, and confirmed by analysis of HSC markers ?-SMA and desmin. CB1 significantly increased in HSCs isolated from mice with SSLF, which was accompanied by a greater expression of fibrotic markers ?-SMA, collagen I, and TIMP-1. CB1 upregulation and enhanced fibrotic changes were also observed in normal HSCs treated with soluble egg antigen (SEA) from Schistosoma J. Electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis further demonstrated that superoxide (O2(-)) production was increased in infected HSCs or normal HSCs stimulated with SEA. Both Nox4 and Nox1 siRNA prevented SEA-induced upregulation of CB1, ?-SMA, collagen I, and TIMP-1 by inhibition of O2(-) production, while CB1 siRNA blocked SEA-induced fibrotic changes without effect on O2(-) production in these HSCs. Taken together, these data suggest that the fibrotic activation of HSCs on Schistosoma J. infection or SEA stimulation is associated with NADPH oxidase-mediated redox regulation of CB1 expression, which may be a triggering mechanism for SSLF.
Project description:Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are key players in liver fibrosis, cellular senescence, and hepatic carcinogenesis. Bile acids (BAs) are involved in the activation of HSCs, but the detailed mechanism of this process remains unclear. We conducted a comprehensive DNA microarray study of the human HSC line LX-2 treated with deoxycholic acid (DCA), a secondary unconjugated BA. Additionally, LX-2 cells were exposed to nine BAs and studied using immunofluorescence staining, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and flow cytometry to examine the mechanisms of HSC activation. We focused on the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) pathway and revealed upregulation of genes related to nuclear factor kappa B (NF-?B) signaling and senescence-associated secretory phenotype factors. ?-Smooth muscle actin (?-SMA) was highly expressed in cells treated with secondary unconjugated BAs, including DCA, and a morphological change associated with radial extension of subendothelial protrusion was observed. Interleukin-6 level in culture supernatant was significantly higher in cells treated with secondary unconjugated BAs. Flow cytometry showed that the proportion of cells highly expressing ?-SMA was significantly increased in HSCs cultured with secondary unconjugated BAs. We demonstrated that secondary unconjugated BAs induced the activation of human HSCs.
Project description:Liver fibrosis is a histological change often attributed to the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) and the excessive formation of scar tissues in the liver. Advanced stages of the disease frequently lead to cirrhosis. Magnesium isoglycyrrhizinate (MgIG) has been accepted as a hepatoprotective drug with the potential of alleviating inflammatory conditions and thus promote liver recovery from viral- or drug-induced injury. While MgIG has been empirically integrated into the clinics to treat some liver diseases, its anti-fibrotic effect and the associated mechanisms remain poorly characterized. Herein, we demonstrated that 1 mg/ml MgIG attenuated the production of ?SMA and collagen-1 in activated HSCs using TGF-?1-induced human HSCs LX2 as the fibrotic cell model. We found that MgIG exerts an inhibitory effect on the TGF-?-SMAD signaling pathway by arresting the binding of downstream transcription factors SMAD2/3 and SMAD4. Furthermore, MgIG was shown to suppress proliferation and induce senescence of activated LX2 cells. Protein expression of p27 and enzymatic activity of senescence-associated ?-galactosidase were elevated upon exposure to MgIG. In addition, we observed that exposure of activated LX2 cells to MgIG reduces TGF-?-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, a lower toxicity profile was observed when human fetal hepatocytes LO2 were exposed to the same concentration and duration of the drug, suggesting the specificity of MgIG effect toward activated HSCs. Overall, hepatoprotective concentrations of MgIG is shown to exert a direct effect on liver fibrosis through inhibiting TGF-?-signaling, in which SMAD2/3 pathway could be one of the mechanisms responsible for the fibrotic response, thereby restoring the surviving cells toward a more quiescent phenotype. This provides critical mechanistic insights to support an otherwise empirical therapy.
Project description:Liver fibrosis is a serious disease that is characterized by the excess deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) are a major source of ECM and serve as a key regulator in liver fibrogenesis. Inactivation of HSCs is essential for liver fibrotic regression. The present study explores the underlying mechanisms of Schistosoma japonicum egg antigen p40 (Sjp40) promoting senescence in HSCs and antifibrosis. For the first time we report that Sjp40 inhibits the activation and proliferation of an immortalized human HSC line (LX-2 cells) and promotes cellular senescence and cell cycle arrest. Sjp40 through action on the STAT3/p53/p21 pathway triggered cellular senescence, while knockdown of p53 or STAT3 partly restored cell senescence. In addition, Sjp40-induced cellular senescence caused LX-2 cells to be more sensitive to a human NK cell line (YT cells). Together these findings provide novel insights into the mechanism of antifibrosis and may have implications for the development of antifibrosis therapies.
Project description:The clearance of activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) by apoptosis is critical for the reversibility of hepatic fibrosis. Mitochondrial homeostasis is regulated by mitophagy, which is an efficient way of clearing injured mitochondria that plays an important role in apoptosis. However, the role of mitophagy in apoptosis in HSCs and hepatic fibrosis is still unclear. Here, we show that mitophagy is enhanced in parallel with increased apoptosis in hepatic stellate cells during the reversal of hepatic fibrosis. The inhibition of mitophagy suppressed apoptosis in HSCs and aggravated hepatic fibrosis in mice. In contrast, the activation of mitophagy induced apoptosis in HSCs. Furthermore, we confirmed that BCL-B, which is a member of the BCL-2 family, is a regulator mediating mitophagy-related apoptosis. The knockdown of BCL-B resulted in increased apoptosis and mitophagy in HSCs, while the overexpression of BCL-B caused the opposite effects. BCL-B inhibited the phosphorylation of Parkin (a key regulator of mitophagy) and directly bound phospho-Parkin. Altogether, enhanced mitophagy promotes apoptosis in HSCs during the reversal of hepatic fibrosis. BCL-B suppresses mitophagy in HSCs by binding and suppressing phospho-Parkin, thereby inhibiting apoptosis. BCL-B-dependent mitophagy is a new pathway for the regulation of apoptosis in HSCs during the regression of hepatic fibrosis.
Project description:Activation of quiescent hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) is the major event in hepatic fibrogenesis, along with enhancement of cell proliferation and overproduction of extracellular matrix. Although inhibition of cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis are potential strategies to block the activation of HSCs, a better understanding of the senescence of activated HSCs can provide a new therapeutic strategy for prevention and treatment of liver fibrosis. The antioxidant curcumin, a phytochemical from turmeric, has been shown to suppress HSC activation in vitro and in vivo. The current work was aimed to evaluate the effect of curcumin on senescence of activated HSCs and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. In this study, curcumin promoted the expression of senescence marker Hmga1 in rat fibrotic liver. In addition, curcumin increased the number of senescence-associated β-galactosidase-positive HSCs in vitro. At the same time, curcumin induced HSC senescence by elevating the expression of senescence markers P16, P21 and Hmga1, concomitant with reduced abundance of HSC activation markers α-smooth muscle actin and α1(I)-procollagen in cultured HSCs. Moreover, curcumin affected the cell cycle and telomerase activity. We further demonstrated that P53 pharmacological inhibitor pifithrin-α (PFT-α) or transfection with P53 siRNA abrogated the curcumin-induced HSC senescence in vitro. Meanwhile, curcumin disruption of P53 leading to increased senescence of activated HSCs was further verified in vivo. Further studies indicated that curcumin promoted the expression of P53 through a PPARγ activation-dependent mechanism. Moreover, promoting PPARγ transactivating activity by a PPARγ agonist 15d-PGJ2 markedly enhanced curcumin induction of senescence of activated HSCs. However, the PPARγ antagonist PD68235 eliminated curcumin induction of HSC senescence. Taken together, our results provided a novel insight into the mechanisms underlying curcumin inhibition of HSC activation through inducing senescence.