The type III isoform of the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R3) is apically localized and triggers Ca2+ waves and secretion in a number of polarized epithelia. However, nothing is known about epigenetic regulation of this InsP3R isoform. We investigated miRNA regulation of InsP3R3 in primary bile duct epithelia (cholangiocytes) and in the H69 cholangiocyte cell line, because the role of InsP3R3 in cholangiocyte Ca2+ signaling and secretion is well established and because loss of InsP3R3 from cholangiocytes is responsible for the impairment in bile secretion that occurs in a number of liver diseases. Analysis of the 3&(prime)-UTR of human InsP3R3 mRNA revealed two highly conserved binding sites for miR-506. Transfection of miR-506 mimics into cell lines expressing InsP3R3-3&(prime)UTR-luciferase led to decreased reporter activity, while co-transfection with miR-506 inhibitors led to enhanced activity. Reporter activity was abrogated in isolated mutant proximal or distal miR-506 constructs in miR-506 transfected HEK293 cells. InsP3R3 protein levels were decreased by miR-506 mimics and increased by inhibitors, and InsP3R3expression was markedly decreased in H69 cells stably transfected with miR506 relative to control cells. miR506-H69 cells exhibited a fibrotic signature. In situ hybridization revealed elevated miR506 expression in vivo in human diseased cholangiocytes. Histamine-induced, InsP3-mediated Ca2+ signals were decreased by 50% in stable-miR-506 cells compared to controls. Finally, InsP3R3-mediated fluid secretion was significantly decreased in isolated bile duct units (IBDU) transfected with miR-506, relative to control IBDU. Together, these data identify miR-506 as a regulator of InsP3R3 expression and of InsP3R3-mediated Ca2+ signaling and secretion.
Polycystic liver diseases are genetic disorders characterized by progressive bile duct dilatation and/or cyst development. The large volume of hepatic cysts causes different symptoms and complications such as abdominal distension, local pressure with back pain, hypertension, gastro-oesophageal reflux and dyspnea as well as bleeding, infection and rupture of the cysts. Current therapeutic strategies are based on surgical procedures and pharmacological management, which partially prevent or ameliorate the disease. However, as these treatments only show short-term and/or modest beneficial effects, liver transplantation is the only definitive therapy. Therefore, interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms involved in disease pathogenesis is increasing so that new targets for therapy can be identified. In this Review, the genetic mechanisms underlying polycystic liver diseases and the most relevant molecular pathways of hepatic cystogenesis are discussed. Moreover, the main clinical and preclinical studies are highlighted and future directions in basic as well as clinical research are indicated.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is caused by abnormal accumulation of lipids within liver cells. Its prevalence is increasing in developed countries in association with obesity, and it represents a risk factor for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Since NAFLD is usually asymptomatic at diagnosis, new non-invasive approaches are needed to determine the hepatic lipid content in terms of diagnosis, treatment and control of disease progression. Here, we investigated the potential of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to quantitate and monitor the hepatic triglyceride concentration in humans.
The activation of the biliary stem-cell signaling pathway hairy and enhancer of split 1/pancreatic duodenal homeobox-1 (Hes-1/PDX-1) in mature cholangiocytes determines cell proliferation. Neurogenin-3 (Ngn-3) is required for pancreas development and ductal cell neogenesis. PDX-1-dependent activation of Ngn-3 initiates the differentiation program by inducing microRNA (miR)-7 expression. Here we investigated the role Ngn-3 on cholangiocyte proliferation. Expression levels of Ngn-3 and miR-7 isoforms were tested in cholangiocytes from normal and cholestatic human livers. Ngn-3 was knocked-down in vitro in normal rat cholangiocytes by short interfering RNA (siRNA). In vivo, wild-type and Ngn-3-heterozygous (+/-) mice were subjected to 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC) feeding (a model of sclerosing cholangitis) or bile duct ligation (BDL). In the liver, Ngn-3 is expressed specifically in cholangiocytes of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) patients and in mice subjected to DDC or BDL, but not in normal human and mouse livers. Expression of miR-7a-1 and miR-7a-2 isoforms, but not miR-7b, was increased in DDC cholangiocytes compared to normal ones. In normal rat cholangiocytes, siRNA against Ngn-3 blocked the proliferation stimulated by exendin-4. In addition, Ngn-3 knockdown neutralized the overexpression of insulin growth factor-1 (IGF1; promitotic effector) observed after exposure to exendin-4, but not that of PDX-1 or VEGF-A/C. Oligonucleotides anti-miR-7 inhibited the exendin-4-induced proliferation in normal rat cholangiocytes, but did not affect Ngn-3 synthesis. Biliary hyperplasia and collagen deposition induced by DDC or BDL were significantly reduced in Ngn-3(+/-) mice compared to wild-type.
Both hepatocytes and cholangiocytes release ATP into the bile, where it acts as a potent autocrine/paracrine stimulus that activates biliary secretory mechanisms. ATP is known to be metabolized into multiple breakdown products, ultimately yielding adenosine. However, the elements implicated in the adenosine-dependent purinergic regulation of cholangiocytes are not known.
Mitogenic stimulation of lymphocytes involves alkalinization of intracellular pH (pHi ). Subsequent pHi regulation may involve HCO3 (-) extrusion through Cl(-) /HCO3 (-) exchangers and/or Na(+) -HCO3 (-) co-transporters with acid-loading capability. Abnormalities in these mechanisms could result in immune dysfunctions, as suggested by the CD8(+) T-cell expansion encountered in mice lacking Ae2 (a widely expressed acid loader with electroneutral and Na(+) -independent Cl(-) /HCO3 (-) anion-exchange activity). Here we report that CD8(+) T cells but not CD4(+) T cells or other lymphocyte populations, are crucially dependent on Ae2 for pHi regulation. While total lymphocytes (including isolated CD4(+) T cells) exhibit Ae1 expression and Na(+) -HCO3 (-) co-transport with acidifying potential, CD8(+) T cells lack these acid-loading mechanisms. In Ae2-KO mice, CD4(+) but not CD8(+) T cells upregulate these potential Ae2 surrogates. As a consequence, Ae2-KO CD8(+) T cells exhibit alkalinized pHi , and dramatically increase their pHi upon CD3 stimulation. Moreover, stimulated Ae2-deficient CD8(+) T cells show enhanced intracellular production of IL-2 and membrane expression of its receptor IL-2R?, together with increased cell proliferation and activation. These findings demonstrate that CD8(+) T cells are critically dependent on Ae2 for pHi homeostasis and tuning of cell proliferation and activation. Ae2 thus constitutes a novel target to modulate CD8(+) T-cell responses.
Polycystic liver diseases (PCLDs) are genetic disorders characterised by progressive bile duct dilatation and/or cyst development. Their pathogenesis is a consequence of hyperproliferation, hypersecretion and microRNA alterations in cholangiocytes. Here we evaluate the role of matrix metalloproteases (MMPs) in the hepatic cystogenesis of PCLDs.
Hepatic cystogenesis in polycystic liver diseases is associated with abnormalities of cholangiocyte cilia. Given the crucial association between cilia and centrosomes, we tested the hypothesis that centrosomal defects occur in cystic cholangiocytes of rodents (Pkd2(WS25/-) mice and PCK rats) and of patients with polycystic liver diseases, contributing to disturbed ciliogenesis and cyst formation. We examined centrosomal cytoarchitecture in control and cystic cholangiocytes, the effects of centrosomal abnormalities on ciliogenesis, and the role of the cell-cycle regulator Cdc25A in centrosomal defects by depleting cholangiocytes of Cdc25A in vitro and in vivo and evaluating centrosome morphology, cell-cycle progression, proliferation, ciliogenesis, and cystogenesis. The cystic cholangiocytes had atypical centrosome positioning, supernumerary centrosomes, multipolar spindles, and extra cilia. Structurally aberrant cilia were present in cystic cholangiocytes during ciliogenesis. Depletion of Cdc25A resulted in i) a decreased number of centrosomes and multiciliated cholangiocytes, ii) an increased fraction of ciliated cholangiocytes with longer cilia, iii) a decreased proportion of cholangiocytes in G1/G0 and S phases of the cell cycle, iv) decreased cell proliferation, and v) reduced cyst growth in vitro and in vivo. Our data support the hypothesis that centrosomal abnormalities in cholangiocytes are associated with aberrant ciliogenesis and that accelerated cystogenesis is likely due to overexpression of Cdc25A, providing additional evidence that pharmacological targeting of Cdc25A has therapeutic potential in polycystic liver diseases.
Upon tissue injury, the liver mounts a potent reparative and regenerative response. A role for proteases, including serine and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), in this process is increasingly recognized. We have evaluated the expression and function of MMP10 (stromelysin-2) in liver wound healing and regeneration.
Reduced drug uptake is an important mechanism of chemoresistance. Down-regulation of SLC22A1 encoding the organic cation transporter-1 (OCT1) may affect the response of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CGC) to sorafenib, a cationic drug. Here we investigated whether SLC22A1 variants may contribute to sorafenib chemoresistance. Complete sequencing and selective variant identification were carried out to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in SLC22A1 complementary DNA (cDNA). In HCC and CGC biopsies, in addition to previously described variants, two novel alternative spliced variants and three SNPs were identified. To study their functional consequences, these variants were mimicked by directed mutagenesis and expressed in HCC (Alexander and SK-Hep-1) and CGC (TFK1) cells. The two novel described variants, R61S fs*10 and C88A fs*16, encoded truncated proteins unable to reach the plasma membrane. Both variants abolished OCT1-mediated uptake of tetraethylammonium, a typical OCT1 substrate, and were not able to induce sorafenib sensitivity. In cells expressing functional OCT1 variants, OCT1 inhibition with quinine prevented sorafenib-induced toxicity. Expression of OCT1 variants in Xenopus laevis oocytes and determination of quinine-sensitive sorafenib uptake by high-performance liquid chromatography-dual mass spectrometry confirmed that OCT1 is able to transport sorafenib and that R61S fs*10 and C88A fs*16 abolish this ability. Screening of these SNPs in 23 HCC and 15 CGC biopsies revealed that R61S fs*10 was present in both HCC (17%) and CGC (13%), whereas C88A fs*16 was only found in HCC (17%). Considering all SLC22A1 variants, at least one inactivating SNP was found in 48% HCC and 40% CGC. Conclusion: Development of HCC and CGC is accompanied by the appearance of aberrant OCT1 variants that, together with decreased OCT1 expression, may dramatically affect the ability of sorafenib to reach active intracellular concentrations in these tumors.
In polycystic liver (PLD) and kidney (PKD) diseases, increased cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) levels trigger hepatorenal cystogenesis. A reduction of the elevated cAMP by targeting somatostatin receptors (SSTRs) with octreotide (OCT; a somatostatin analog that preferentially binds to SSTR2) inhibits cyst growth. Here we compare the effects of OCT to pasireotide (PAS; a more potent somatostatin analog with broader receptor specificity) on: (1) cAMP levels, cell cycle, proliferation, and cyst expansion in vitro using cholangiocytes derived from control and PCK rats (a model of autosomal recessive PKD [ARPKD]), healthy human beings, and patients with autosomal dominant PKD (ADPKD); and (2) hepatorenal cystogenesis in vivo in PCK rats and Pkd2(WS25/-) mice (a model of ADPKD). Expression of SSTRs was assessed in control and cystic cholangiocytes of rodents and human beings. Concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) (both involved in indirect action of somatostatin analogs), and expression and localization of SSTRs after treatment were evaluated. We found that PAS was more potent (by 30%-45%) than OCT in reducing cAMP and cell proliferation, affecting cell cycle distribution, decreasing growth of cultured cysts in vitro, and inhibiting hepatorenal cystogenesis in vivo in PCK rats and Pkd2(WS25/-) mice. The levels of IGF1 (but not VEGF) were reduced only in response to PAS. Expression of SSTR1 and SSTR2 (but not SSTR3 and SSTR5) was decreased in cystic cholangiocytes compared to control. Although both OCT and PAS increased the immunoreactivity of SSTR2, only PAS up-regulated SSTR1; neither drug affected cellular localization of SSTRs. Conclusion: PAS is more effective than OCT in reducing hepatorenal cystogenesis in rodent models; therefore, it might be more beneficial for the treatment of PKD and PLD.
Although the association between alcohol and pancreatic diseases has been recognized for a long time, the impact of alcohol consumption on pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer (PC) remains poorly defined. Nowadays there is not consensus about the epidemiology and the beverage type, dose and duration of alcohol consumption causing these diseases. The objective of this study was to review the epidemiology described in the literature for pancreatic diseases as a consequence of alcoholic behavior trying to understand the association between dose, type and frequency of alcohol consumption and risk of pancreatitis and PC. The majority of the studies conclude that high alcohol intake was associated with a higher risk of pancreatitis (around 2.5%-3% between heavy drinkers and 1.3% between non drinkers). About 70% of pancreatitis are due to chronic heavy alcohol consumption. Although this incidence rate differs between countries, it is clear that the risk of developing pancreatitis increases with increasing doses of alcohol and the average of alcohol consumption vary since 80 to 150 g/d for 10-15 years. With regard to PC, the role of alcohol consumption remains less clear, and low to moderate alcohol consumption do not appear to be associated with PC risk, and only chronic heavy drinking increase the risk compared with lightly drinkers. In a population of 10%-15% of heavy drinkers, 2%-5% of all PC cases could be attributed to alcohol consumption. However, as only a minority (less than 10% for pancreatitis and 5% for PC) of heavily drinkers develops these pancreatic diseases, there are other predisposing factors besides alcohol involved. Genetic variability and environmental exposures such as smoking and diet modify the risk and should be considered for further investigations.
Polycystic liver diseases (PCLDs) are a heterogeneous group of genetic disorders characterized by the development of multiple fluid-filled cysts in the liver, which derive from cholangiocytes, the epithelial cells lining the bile ducts. When these cysts grow, symptoms such as abdominal distension, nausea, and abdominal pain may occur. PCLDs may exist isolated (i.e., autosomal dominant polycystic liver disease, ADPLD) or in combination with renal cystogenesis (i.e., autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease and autosomal recessive polycystic liver disease). The exact prevalence of PCLDs is unknown, but is estimated to occur in approximately 1:1000 persons. Although the pathogenesis of each form of PCLD appears to be different, increasing evidences indicate that hepatic cystogenesis is a phenomenon that may involve somatic loss of heterozygosity (LOH) in those pathological conditions inherited in a dominant form. A recent report, using highly sophisticated methodology, demonstrated that ADPLD patients with a germline mutation in the protein kinase C substrate 80K-H (PRKCSH) gene mostly develop hepatic cystogenesis through a second somatic mutation. While hepatocystin, the PRKCSH-encoding protein, was absent in the hepatic cysts with LOH, it was still expressed in the heterozygous cysts. On the other hand, no additional trans-heterozygous mutations on the SEC63 homolog (S. cerevisiae/SEC63) gene (also involved in the development of PCLDs) were observed. These data indicate that PCLD is recessive at the cellular level, and point out the important role of hepatocystin loss in cystogenesis. In this commentary, we discuss the knowledge regarding the role of somatic second-hit mutations in the development of PCLDs, and the most relevant findings have been highlighted.
Only a limited proportion of patients needing pharmacological control of portal hypertension are hemodynamic responders to propranolol. Here we analyzed the effects of zolmitriptan on portal pressure and its potential interaction with propranolol.
Secretin induces bicarbonate-rich hydrocholeresis in healthy individuals, but not in untreated patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA)--the first choice treatment for PBC--restores the secretin response. Compared with humans, secretin has poor effect in experimental normal-rat models with biliary drainage, although it may elicit hydrocholeresis when the bile-acid pool is maintained. In view of the benefits of UDCA in PBC, we used normal-rat models to unravel the acute contribution of UDCA (and/or taurine-conjugated TUDCA) for eliciting the biliary secretin response.
In polycystic kidney disease and polycystic liver disease (PLD), the normally nonproliferative hepato-renal epithelia acquire a proliferative, cystic phenotype that is linked to overexpression of cell division cycle 25 (Cdc25)A phosphatase and cell-cycle deregulation. We investigated the effects of Cdc25A inhibition in mice and rats via genetic and pharmacologic approaches.
Inflammation and fibrogenesis are directly related to chronic liver disease progression, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development. Currently there are few therapeutic options available to inhibit liver fibrosis. We have evaluated the hepatoprotective and anti-fibrotic potential of orally-administered 5-methylthioadenosine (MTA) in Mdr2(-/-) mice, a clinically relevant model of sclerosing cholangitis and spontaneous biliary fibrosis, followed at later stages by HCC development.
Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) induces bicarbonate-rich hypercholeresis by incompletely defined mechanisms that involve the stimulation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) release from cholangiocytes. As nitric oxide (NO) at a low concentration can stimulate a variety of secretory processes, we investigated whether this mediator could be implicated in the choleretic response to UDCA. Our in vivo experiments with the in situ perfused rat liver model in anesthetized rats, showed that UDCA infusion increased the biliary secretion of NO derivatives, hepatic inducible NO synthase expression, and NO synthase activity in liver tissue. UDCA also stimulated NO release by isolated rat hepatocytes. In contrast to UDCA, cholic acid was a poor inducer of NO secretion, and tauroursodeoxycholic acid showed no effect on NO secretion. Upon UDCA administration, NO was found in bile as low-molecular-weight nitrosothiols, of which S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) was the predominant species. UDCA-stimulated biliary NO secretion was abolished by the inhibition of inducible NO synthase with N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester in isolated perfused livers and also in rats whose livers were depleted of glutathione with buthionine sulfoximine. Moreover, the biliary secretion of NO species was significantly diminished in UDCA-infused transport mutant [ATP-binding cassette C2 (ABCC2)/multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Mrp2)-deficient] rats, and this finding was consistent with the involvement of the glutathione carrier ABCC2/Mrp2 in the canalicular transport of GSNO. It was particularly noteworthy that in cultured normal rat cholangiocytes, GSNO activated protein kinase B, protected against apoptosis, and enhanced UDCA-induced ATP release to the medium; this effect was blocked by phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibition. Finally, retrograde GSNO infusion into the common bile duct increased bile flow and biliary bicarbonate secretion. Conclusion: UDCA induces biliary secretion of GSNO, which contributes to stimulating ductal secretion.
Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles that are thought to participate in intercellular communication. Recent work from our laboratory suggests that, in normal and cystic liver, exosome-like vesicles accumulate in the lumen of intrahepatic bile ducts, presumably interacting with cholangiocyte cilia. However, direct evidence for exosome-ciliary interaction is limited and the physiological relevance of such interaction remains unknown. Thus, in this study, we tested the hypothesis that biliary exosomes are involved in intercellular communication by interacting with cholangiocyte cilia and inducing intracellular signaling and functional responses. Exosomes were isolated from rat bile by differential ultracentrifugation and characterized by scanning, transmission, and immunoelectron microscopy. The exosome-ciliary interaction and its effects on ERK1/2 signaling, expression of the microRNA, miR-15A, and cholangiocyte proliferation were studied on ciliated and deciliated cultured normal rat cholangiocytes. Our results show that bile contains vesicles identified as exosomes by their size, characteristic "saucer-shaped" morphology, and specific markers, CD63 and Tsg101. When NRCs were exposed to isolated biliary exosomes, the exosomes attached to cilia, inducing a decrease of the phosphorylated-to-total ERK1/2 ratio, an increase of miR-15A expression, and a decrease of cholangiocyte proliferation. All these effects of biliary exosomes were abolished by the pharmacological removal of cholangiocyte cilia. Our findings suggest that bile contains exosomes functioning as signaling nanovesicles and influencing intracellular regulatory mechanisms and cholangiocyte proliferation through interaction with primary cilia.
In polycystic liver diseases, cyst formation involves cholangiocyte hyperproliferation. In polycystic kidney (PCK) rats, an animal model of autosomal-recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), decreased intracellular calcium [Ca(2+)](i) in cholangiocytes is associated with hyperproliferation. We recently showed transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (Trpv4), a calcium-entry channel, is expressed in normal cholangiocytes and its activation leads to [Ca(2+)](i) increase. Thus, we hypothesized that pharmacologic activation of Trpv4 might reverse the hyperproliferative phenotype of PCK cholangiocytes.
Ion transport across the cellular plasma membrane is important in almost every physiological process. This phenomenon is driven by the coordinated action of carriers, pumps and channels, which move ions in and out the cells and between different organelles. Ion channels are transmembrane proteins that provide a continuous aqueous pore through which ions can selectively move. The interest in these molecules has increased due to the recognition of diverse pathologies related with mutations in genes encoding these transmembrane proteins, now known as channelopathies. Ion channels play a variety of functions in the pancreas. Here, we briefly describe ion transport characteristics as well as their role in pancreas physiology and pathophysiology.
PCK rats, an animal model of autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), develop cholangiocyte-derived liver cysts associated with increased intracellular adenosine 3,5-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), the inhibition of which suppresses cyst growth. We hypothesized that elevated cAMP stimulates cholangiocyte proliferation via two downstream effectors, exchange proteins activated by cAMP (Epac1 and Epac2 isoforms) and protein kinase A (PKA), and that intracellular calcium is also involved in this process. Assessment of Epac isoforms and PKA regulatory subunits at the messenger RNA and protein level showed that cultured normal rat cholangiocytes express Epac1, Epac2, and all regulatory PKA subunits. Epac isoforms and the PKA RIbeta subunit were overexpressed in cultured PCK cholangiocytes. Proliferation analysis in response to Epac and PKA activation indicated that both normal and PCK cholangiocytes increase their growth upon Epac-specific stimulation, while PKA-specific stimulation results in differential effects, suppressing proliferation in normal cholangiocytes but accelerating this process in PCK cholangiocytes. On the other hand, both PKA and Epac activation of cystic structures generated by normal and PCK cholangiocytes when cultured under three-dimensional conditions resulted in increased cyst growth, particularly in PCK-cholangiocyte derived cysts. Pharmacological inhibitors and small interfering RNA-mediated gene silencing demonstrated the specificity of each effector activation, as well as the involvement of MEK-ERK1/2 signaling in all the observed effector-associated proliferation changes. Hyperproliferation of PCK cholangiocytes in response to PKA stimulation, but not to Epac stimulation, was found to be associated with decreased intracellular calcium, and restoration of calcium levels blocked the PKA-dependent proliferation via the PI3K/AKT pathway. Conclusion: Our data provide strong evidence that both cAMP effectors, Epac and PKA, and the levels of intracellular calcium are involved in the hepatic cystogenesis of ARPKD.
Cholangiopathies are a group of diseases primarily or secondarily affecting bile duct cells, and result in cholangiocyte proliferation, regression, and/or transformation. Their etiopathogenesis may be associated with a broad variety of causes of different nature, which includes genetic, neoplastic, immune-associated, infectious, vascular, and drug-induced alterations, or being idiopathic. miRNAs, small non-coding endogenous RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate gene expression, have been associated with pathophysiological processes in different organs and cell types, and are postulated as potential targets for diagnosis and therapy. In the current manuscript, knowledge regarding the role of miRNAs in the development and/or progression of cholangiopathies has been reviewed and the most relevant findings in this promising field of hepatology have been highlighted.
Cl(-) /HCO3- anion exchanger 2 (AE2) participates in intracellular pH homeostasis and secretin-stimulated biliary bicarbonate secretion. AE2/SLC4A2 gene expression is reduced in liver and blood mononuclear cells from patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). Our previous findings of hepatic and immunological features mimicking PBC in Ae2-deficient mice strongly suggest that decreased AE2 expression might be involved in the pathogenesis of PBC. Here, we tested the potential role of microRNA 506 (miR-506) - predicted as candidate to target AE2 mRNA - for the decreased expression of AE2 in PBC. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that miR-506 expression is increased in PBC livers versus normal liver specimens. In situ hybridization in liver sections confirmed that miR-506 is up-regulated in the intrahepatic bile ducts of PBC livers, compared with normal and primary sclerosing cholangitis livers. Precursor-mediated overexpression of miR-506 in SV40-immortalized normal human cholangiocytes (H69 cells) led to decreased AE2 protein expression and activity, as indicated by immunoblotting and microfluorimetry, respectively. Moreover, miR-506 overexpression in three-dimensional (3D)-cultured H69 cholangiocytes blocked the secretin-stimulated expansion of cystic structures developed under the 3D conditions. Luciferase assays and site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that miR-506 specifically may bind the 3untranslated region (3UTR) of AE2 messenger RNA (mRNA) and prevent protein translation. Finally, cultured PBC cholangiocytes showed decreased AE2 activity, together with miR-506 overexpression, compared to normal human cholangiocytes, and transfection of PBC cholangiocytes with anti-miR-506 was able to improve their AE2 activity.
Statins may have therapeutic effects on hepatocarcinoma (HCC). This type of disorder is the most common malignant primary tumour in the liver. Our objective was to determine whether pravastatin had a therapeutic effect in vitro and in vivo models.
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