The Hepatitis C virus NS5A and core proteins exert antagonistic effects on HAMP gene expression: the hidden interplay with the MTF-1/MRE pathway.
ABSTRACT: Hepcidin, a 25-amino acid peptide encoded by the HAMP gene and produced mainly by hepatocytes and macrophages, is a mediator of innate immunity and the central iron-regulatory hormone. Circulating hepcidin controls iron efflux by inducing degradation of the cellular iron exporter ferroportin. HCV infection is associated with hepatic iron overload and elevated serum iron, which correlate with poor antiviral responses. The HCV nonstructural NS5A protein is known to function in multiple aspects of the HCV life cycle, probably exerting its activity in concert with cellular factor(s). In this study, we attempted to delineate the effect of HCV NS5A on HAMP gene expression. We observed that transient transfection of hepatoma cell lines with HCV NS5A resulted in down-regulation of HAMP promoter activity. A similar effect was evident after transduction of Huh7 cells with a recombinant baculovirus vector expressing NS5A protein. We proceeded to construct an NS5A-expressing stable cell line, which also exhibited down-regulation of HAMP gene promoter activity and significant reduction of HAMP mRNA and hepcidin protein levels. Concurrent expression of HCV core protein, a well-characterized hepcidin inducer, revealed antagonism between those two proteins for hepcidin regulation. In attempting to identify the pathways involved in NS5A-driven reduction of hepcidin levels, we ruled out any NS5A-induced alterations in the expression of the well-known hepcidin inducers SMAD4 and STAT3. Further analysis linked the abundance of intracellular zinc ions and the deregulation of the MTF-1/MRE/hepcidin axis with the observed phenomenon. This effect could be associated with distinct phases in HCV life cycle.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Hepcidin, encoding by HAMP gene, is the pivotal regulator of iron metabolism, controlling the systemic absorption and transportation of irons from intracellular stores. Abnormal levels of HAMP expression alter plasma iron parameters and lead to iron metabolism disorders. Therefore, it is an important goal to understand the mechanisms controlling HAMP gene expression. RESULTS: Overexpression of Sox2 decrease basal expression of HAMP or induced by IL-6 or BMP-2, whereas, knockdown of Sox2 can increase HAMP expression, furthermore, two potential Sox2-binding sites were identified within the human HAMP promoter. Indeed, luciferase experiments demonstrated that deletion of any Sox2-binding site impaired the negative regulation of Sox2 on HAMP promoter transcriptional activity in basal conditions. ChIP experiments showed that Sox2 could directly bind to these sites. Finally, we verified the role of Sox2 to negatively regulate HAMP expression in human primary hepatocytes. CONCLUSION: We found that Sox2 as a novel factor to bind with HAMP promoter to negatively regulate HAMP expression, which may be further implicated as a therapeutic option for the amelioration of HAMP-overexpression-related diseases, including iron deficiency anemia.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Hepcidin acts as the main regulator of iron homeostasis through regulation of intestinal absorption and macrophage release. Hepcidin deficiency causes iron overload whereas its overproduction is associated with anaemia of chronic diseases. The aims of the study were: to identify genetic variants in the hepcidin gene (HAMP) promoter, to asses the associations between the variants found and iron status parameters, and to functionally study the role on HAMP expression of the most frequent variant. RESULTS: The sequencing of HAMP promoter from 103 healthy individuals revealed two genetic variants: The c.-153C > T with a frequency of 0.014 for allele T, which is known to reduce hepcidin expression and the c.-582A > G with a 0.218 frequency for allele G. In an additional group of 224 individuals, the c.-582A > G variant genotype showed no association with serum iron, transferrin or ferritin levels.The c.-582G HAMP promoter variant decreased the transcriptional activity by 20% compared to c.-582A variant in cells from the human hepatoma cell line HepG2 when cotransfected with luciferase reporter constructs and plasmid expressing upstream stimulatory factor 1 (USF1) and by 12-14% when cotransfected with plasmid expressing upstream stimulatory factor 2 (USF2). CONCLUSIONS: The c.-582A > G HAMP promoter variant is not associated with serum iron, transferrin or ferritin levels in the healthy population. The in vitro effect of the c.-582A > G variant resulted in a small reduction of the gene transactivation by allele G compared to allele A. Therefore the effect of the variant on the hepcidin levels in vivo would be likely negligible. Finally, the c.-153C > T variant showed a frequency high enough to be considered when a genetic analysis is done in iron overload patients.
Project description:Mechanisms that favor Hepatitis C virus (HCV) persistence over clearance are unclear, but involve defective innate immunity. Chronic infection is characterized by hepatic iron overload, hyperferraemia and hyperferittinaemia. Hepcidin modulates iron egress via ferroportin and its storage in ferritin. Chronic HCV patients have decreased hepcidin, while HCV replication is modified by HAMP silencing. We aimed to investigate interactions between HCV and hepcidin, during acute and chronic disease, and putative alterations in cellular iron homeostasis that enhance HCV propagation and promote viral persistence. Thus, we used HCV JFH-1-infected co-cultures of Huh7.5 hepatoma and THP-1 macrophage cells, HCV patients' sera and Huh7 hepcidin-expressing cells transfected with HCV replicons. Hepcidin levels were elevated in acutely infected patients, but correlated with viral load in chronic patients. HAMP expression was up-regulated early in HCV infection in vitro, with corresponding changes in ferritin and FPN. Hepcidin overexpression enhanced both viral translation and replication. In HCV-infected co-cultures, we observed increased hepcidin, reduced hepatoma ferritin and a concurrent rise in macrophaghic ferritin over time. Altered iron levels complemented amplified replication in hepatoma cells and one replication round in macrophages. Iron-loading of macrophages led to enhancement of hepatic HCV replication through reversed ferritin "flow." Viral transmissibility from infected macrophages to naïve hepatoma cells was induced by iron. We propose that HCV control over iron occurs both by intracellular iron sequestration, through hepcidin, and intercellular iron mobilisation via ferritin, as means toward enhanced replication. Persistence could be achieved through HCV-induced changes in macrophagic iron that enhances viral replication in these cells.
Project description:Ferroportin (Fpn) is the only known iron exporter in vertebrate cells and plays a critical role in iron homeostasis regulating cytosolic iron levels and exporting iron to plasma. Ferroportin1 (FPN1) expression can be transcriptionally regulated by iron as well as other transition metals. Fpn can also be posttranslationally regulated by hepcidin-mediated internalization and degradation. We demonstrate that zinc and cadmium induce FPN1 transcription through the action of Metal Transcription Factor-1 (MTF-1). These transition metals induce MTF-1 translocation into the nucleus. Zinc leads to MTF-1 binding to the FPN1 promoter, while iron does not. Silencing of MTF-1 reduces FPN1 transcription in response to zinc but not in response to iron. The mouse FPN1 promoter contains 2 MTF-1 binding sites and mutation of those sites affects the zinc and cadmium-dependent expression of a FPN1 promoter reporter construct. We demonstrate that Fpn can transport zinc and can protect zinc sensitive cells from high zinc toxicity.
Project description:Kawasaki disease (KD) is a form of systemic vasculitis. Regarding its pathogenesis, HAMP gene encoding hepcidin, which is significant for iron metabolism, has a vital function. In this study, we recruited a total of 381 KD patients for genotyping. Data from 997 subjects (500 subjects from cohort 1; 497 subjects from cohort 2) were used for analysis. Using TaqMan allelic discrimination, we determined five tag SNPs (rs916145, rs10421768, rs3817623, rs7251432, and rs2293689). Treatment outcome data related to such clinical phenotypes as coronary artery lesions (CAL), coronary artery aneurysms (CAA), and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) effects were also collected. Furthermore, we measured plasma hepcidin levels with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We found that HAMP gene polymorphism (rs7251432, and rs2293689) was significantly correlated with KD risk and that plasma hepcidin levels both before and after IVIG treatment had a significantly positive correlation with length of hospital stays (R = 0.217, p = 0.046 and R = 0.381, p < 0.0001, respectively). In contrast, plasma hepcidin levels has a negative correlation with KD patients' albumin levels (R = -0.27, p < 0.001) prior to IVIG treatment. This study's findings indicate that HAMP might have a role in the disease susceptibility, as well as its expressions correlated length of hospital stays, and albumin levels in Taiwanese children with KD.
Project description:Hepcidin (HAMP) synthesis is suppressed by erythropoiesis to increase iron availability for red blood cell production. This effect is thought to result from factors secreted by erythroid precursors. Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) expression was recently shown to increase in erythroid cells of ?-thalassaemia, and decrease with improvement in anaemia. Whether GDF11 regulates hepatic HAMP production has never been experimentally studied. Here, we explore GDF11 function during erythropoiesis-triggered HAMP suppression. Our results confirm that exogenous erythropoietin significantly increases Gdf11 as well as Erfe (erythroferrone) expression, and Gdf11 is also increased, albeit at a lower degree than Erfe, in phlebotomized wild type and ?-thalassaemic mice. GDF11 is expressed predominantly in erythroid burst forming unit- and erythroid colony-forming unit- cells during erythropoiesis. Exogeneous GDF11 administration results in HAMP suppression in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, exogenous GDF11 decreases BMP-SMAD signalling, enhances SMAD ubiquitin regulatory factor 1 (SMURF1) expression and induces ERK1/2 (MAPK3/1) signalling. ERK1/2 signalling activation is required for GDF11 or SMURF1-mediated suppression in BMP-SMAD signalling and HAMP expression. This research newly characterizes GDF11 in erythropoiesis-mediated HAMP suppression, in addition to ERFE.
Project description:Objective- Inflammatory stimuli enhance the progression of atherosclerotic disease. Inflammation also increases the expression of hepcidin, a hormonal regulator of iron homeostasis, which decreases intestinal iron absorption, reduces serum iron levels and traps iron within macrophages. The role of macrophage iron in the development of atherosclerosis remains incompletely understood. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of hepcidin deficiency and decreased macrophage iron on the development of atherosclerosis. Approach and Results- Hepcidin- and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) receptor-deficient ( Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/-) mice and Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- control mice were fed a high-fat diet for 21 weeks. Compared with control mice, Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/- mice had decreased aortic macrophage activity and atherosclerosis. Because hepcidin deficiency is associated with both increased serum iron and decreased macrophage iron, the possibility that increased serum iron was responsible for decreased atherosclerosis in Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/- mice was considered. Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- mice were treated with iron dextran so as to produce a 2-fold increase in serum iron. Increased serum iron did not decrease atherosclerosis in Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- mice. Aortic macrophages from Hamp-/-/ Ldlr-/- mice had less labile free iron and exhibited a reduced proinflammatory (M1) phenotype compared with macrophages from Hamp+/+/ Ldlr-/- mice. THP1 human macrophages treated with an iron chelator were used to model hepcidin deficiency in vitro. Treatment with an iron chelator reduced LPS (lipopolysaccharide)-induced M1 phenotypic expression and decreased uptake of oxidized LDL. Conclusions- In summary, in a hyperlipidemic mouse model, hepcidin deficiency was associated with decreased macrophage iron, a reduced aortic macrophage inflammatory phenotype and protection from atherosclerosis. The results indicate that decreasing hepcidin activity, with the resulting decrease in macrophage iron, may prove to be a novel strategy for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Project description:Retention of iron in tissue macrophages via upregulation of hepcidin (HAMP) and downregulation of the iron exporter ferroportin (FPN) is thought to participate in the establishment of anemia of inflammation after infection. However, an upregulation of FPN has been proposed to limit macrophages iron access to intracellular pathogens. Therefore, we studied the iron homeostasis and in particular the regulation of FPN after infection with Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium in mice presenting tissue macrophages with high iron (AcB61), basal iron (A/J and wild-type mice), or low iron (Hamp knock out, Hamp-/-) levels. The presence of iron in AcB61 macrophages due to extravascular hemolysis and strong erythrophagocytosis activity favored the proliferation of Salmonella in the spleen and liver with a concomitant decrease of FPN protein expression. Despite systemic iron overload, no or slight increase in Salmonella burden was observed in Hamp-/- mice compared to controls. Importantly, FPN expression at both mRNA and protein levels was strongly decreased during Salmonella infection in Hamp-/- mice. The repression of Fpn mRNA was also observed in Salmonella-infected cultured macrophages. In addition, the downregulation of FPN was associated with decreased iron stores in both the liver and spleen in infected mice. Our findings show that during Salmonella infection, FPN is repressed through an iron and hepcidin-independent mechanism. Such regulation likely provides the cellular iron indispensable for the growth of Salmonella inside the macrophages.
Project description:Hepcidin is crucial in regulating iron metabolism, and increased serum levels were strongly linked with poor outcomes in various malignancies. Thus, we investigated if genetic variants in the BMP/Smad4/Hamp hepcidin-regulating pathway were associated with outcomes in patients receiving definitive radiotherapy for NSCLC. Subjects were 664 NSCLC patients who received ?60 Gy radiotherapy for NSCLC retrospectively identified from a single-institution database. Potentially, functional and tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of BMP2 (rs170986, rs1979855, rs1980499, rs235768, and rs3178250), BMP4 (rs17563, rs4898820, and rs762642), Smad4 (rs12456284), and Hamp (rs1882694, rs10402233, rs10421768, and rs12971321) were genotyped by TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction. Cox proportional hazard's analyses were used to assess potential influences of SNPs on overall survival (OS), local-regional progression-free survival (LRPFS), progression-free survival (PFS), and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS). Nomogram of each endpoint model was developed using R project. The median patient age was 66 years. Most (488 [73.2%]) had stage III NSCLC. Age, disease stage, receipt of concurrent chemotherapy, and gross tumor volume were independent factors of OS. Hamp rs1882694 AC/CC genotypes were associated with poor OS, LRPFS, PFS, and DMFS in multivariate analyses. Besides, BMP2 rs1979855, rs3178250, and rs1980499 associated with PFS; Hamp rs10402233 and BMP2 rs1979855 associated with LRPFS; BMP2 rs3178250 associated with DMFS after adjustment for clinical factors. After adding SNPs to each model, all the likelihood ratios were increased; the nomograms were improved significantly to predict LRPFS (P < 0.001) and PFS (P < 0.001), and marginally to predict OS (P = 0.056) and DM (P = 0.057). Our nomograms incorporating significant SNPs in the BMP/Smad4/Hamp hepcidin-regulating pathway could improve the prediction of outcomes in patients given definitive radiotherapy for NSCLC. Intensified follow-ups would be recommended for patients with unfavorable outcomes identified in nomograms. Due to the rapid developments of targeted therapies and immunotherapies for NSCLC, it is necessary to further validate our findings in patients receiving such treatments.
Project description:Hepcidin, a liver-derived protein that restricts enteric iron absorption, is the key regulator of body iron content. Several proteins induce expression of the hepcidin-encoding gene Hamp in response to infection or high levels of iron. However, mechanism(s) of Hamp suppression during iron depletion are poorly understood. We describe mask: a recessive, chemically induced mutant mouse phenotype, characterized by progressive loss of body (but not facial) hair and microcytic anemia. The mask phenotype results from reduced absorption of dietary iron caused by high levels of hepcidin and is due to a splicing defect in the transmembrane serine protease 6 gene Tmprss6. Overexpression of normal TMPRSS6 protein suppresses activation of the Hamp promoter, and the TMPRSS6 cytoplasmic domain mediates Hamp suppression via proximal promoter element(s). TMPRSS6 is an essential component of a pathway that detects iron deficiency and blocks Hamp transcription, permitting enhanced dietary iron absorption.