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Hepatocyte TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 6 Aggravates Hepatic Inflammation and Fibrosis by Promoting Lysine 6-Linked Polyubiquitination of Apoptosis Signal-Regulating Kinase 1.

Wang, Yutao; Wen, Huan; Fu, Jiajun; Cai, Lin; Li, Peng-Long; Zhao, Chang-Ling; Dong, Zhu-Feng; Ma, Jun-Peng; Wang, Xi; Tian, Han; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Ye; Cai, Jingjing; She, Zhi-Gang; Huang, Zan; Li, Wenhua; Li, Hongliang.
Hepatology; 2019 Jun 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31222801
Activation of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1) is a key driving force of the progression of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and represents an attractive therapeutic target for NASH treatment. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying ASK1 activation in the pathogenesis of NASH remain incompletely understood. In this study, our data unequivocally indicated that hyperactivated ASK1 in hepatocytes is a potent inducer of hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation by promoting the production of hepatocyte-derived factors. Our previous serial studies have shown that the ubiquitination system plays a key role in regulating ASK1 activity during NASH progression. Here, we further demonstrated that tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) promotes lysine 6 (Lys6)-linked polyubiquitination and subsequent activation of ASK1 to trigger the release of robust proinflammatory and profibrotic factors in hepatocytes, which, in turn, drive HSC activation and hepatic fibrosis. Consistent with the in vitro findings, diet-induced liver inflammation and fibrosis were substantially attenuated in Traf6+/- mice, whereas hepatic TRAF6 overexpression exacerbated these abnormalities. Mechanistically, Lys6-linked ubiquitination of ASK1 by TRAF6 facilitates the dissociation of thioredoxin from ASK1 and N-terminal dimerization of ASK1, resulting in the boosted activation of ASK1-c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 (JNK1/2)-mitogen-activated protein kinase 14(p38) signaling cascade in hepatocytes.

CONCLUSION:

These results suggest that Lys6-linked polyubiquitination of ASK1 by TRAF6 represents a mechanism underlying ASK1 activation in hepatocytes and a key driving force of proinflammatory and profibrogenic responses in NASH. Thus, inhibiting Lys6-linked polyubiquitination of ASK1 may serve as a potential therapeutic target for NASH treatment.
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