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Cancers ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (2) ◽  
pp. 430
Dirk Andreas Ridder ◽  
Lana Louisa Urbansky ◽  
Hagen Roland Witzel ◽  
Mario Schindeldecker ◽  
Arndt Weinmann ◽  

Although knowledge on inflammatory signaling pathways driving cancer initiation and progression has been increasing, molecular mechanisms in hepatocarcinogenesis are still far from being completely understood. Hepatocyte-specific deletion of the MAPKKK Tak1 in mice recapitulates important steps of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development, including the occurrence of cell death, steatohepatitis, dysplastic nodules, and HCCs. However, overactivation of Tak1 in mice upon deletion of its deubiquitinase Cyld also results in steatohepatitis and HCC development. To investigate Tak1 and Cyld in human HCCs, we created a tissue microarray to analyze their expression by immunohistochemistry in a large and well-characterized cohort of 871 HCCs of 561 patients. In the human liver and HCC, Tak1 is predominantly present as its isoform Tak1A and predominantly localizes to cell nuclei. Tak1 is upregulated in diethylnitrosamine-induced mouse HCCs as well as in human HCCs independent of etiology and is further induced in distant metastases. A high nuclear Tak1 expression is associated with short survival and vascular invasion. When we overexpressed Tak1A in Huh7 cells, we observed increased tumor cell migration, whereas overexpression of full-length Tak1 had no significant effect. A combined score of low Cyld and high Tak1 expression was an independent prognostic marker in a multivariate Cox regression model.

Biomedicines ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
pp. 132
Rebekka Pohl ◽  
Susanne Feder ◽  
Elisabeth M. Haberl ◽  
Lisa Rein-Fischboeck ◽  
Thomas S. Weiss ◽  

Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is marked by macrophage infiltration and inflammation. Chemerin is a chemoattractant protein and is abundant in hepatocytes. The aim of this study was to gain insight into the role of hepatocyte-produced prochemerin in NASH. Therefore, mice were infected with adeno-associated virus 8 to direct hepatic overexpression of prochemerin in a methionine–choline deficient dietary model of NASH. At the end of the study, hepatic and serum chemerin were higher in the chemerin-expressing mice. These animals had less hepatic oxidative stress, F4/80 and CC-chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) protein, and mRNA levels of inflammatory genes than the respective control animals. In order to identify the underlying mechanisms, prochemerin was expressed in hepatocytes and the hepatic stellate cells, LX-2. Here, chemerin had no effect on cell viability, production of inflammatory, or pro-fibrotic factors. Notably, cultivation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) in the supernatant of Huh7 cells overexpressing chemerin reduced CCL2, interleukin-6, and osteopontin levels in cell media. CCL2 was also low in RAW264.7 cells exposed to Hepa1–6 cell produced chemerin. In summary, the current study showed that prochemerin overexpression had little effect on hepatocytes and hepatic stellate cells. Of note, hepatocyte-produced chemerin deactivated PBMCs and protected against inflammation in experimental NASH.

2022 ◽  
Ana C. Alcalá ◽  
José L. Maravillas ◽  
David Meza ◽  
Octavio T. Ramirez ◽  
Juan E. Ludert ◽  

The dengue virus NS1 is a multifunctional protein that forms part of replication complexes. NS1 is also secreted, as a hexamer, to the extracellular milieu. Circulating NS1 has been associated with dengue pathogenesis by several mechanisms. Cell binding and internalization of soluble NS1 result in endothelial hyperpermeability and in the downregulation of the innate immune response. In this work, we report that the HDL scavenger receptor B1 (SRB1) in human hepatic cells and a scavenger receptor B1-like in mosquito C6/36 cells act as cell surface binding receptors for dengue virus NS1. The presence of the SRB1 on the plasma membrane of C6/36 cells, as well as in Huh7 cells, was demonstrated by confocal microscopy. The internalization of NS1 can be efficiently blocked by anti-SRB1 antibodies and previous incubation of the cells with HDL significantly reduces NS1 internalization. Significant reduction in NS1 internalization was observed in C6/36 cells transfected with siRNAs specific for SRB1. In addition, the transient expression of SRB1 in Vero cells, which lacks the receptor, allows NS1 internalization in these cells. Direct interaction between soluble NS1 and the SRB1 in Huh7 and C6/36 cells was demonstrated in situ by proximity ligation assays and in vitro by surface plasmon resonance. Finally, results are presented indicating that the SRB1 also acts as a cell receptor for Zika virus NS1. These results demonstrate that dengue virus NS1, a bona fide lipoprotein, usurps the HDL receptor for cell entry and offers explanations for the altered serum lipoprotein homeostasis observed in dengue patients. Importance Dengue is the most common viral disease transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The dengue virus NS1 is a multifunctional glycoprotein necessary for viral replication. NS1 is also secreted as a hexameric lipoprotein and circulates in high concentrations in the sera of patients. Circulating NS1 has been associated with dengue pathogenesis by several mechanisms, including favoring of virus replication in hepatocytes and dendritic cells and disruption of the endothelial glycocalyx leading to hyperpermeability. Those last actions require NS1 internalization. Here, we identify the scavenger cell receptor B1, as the cell-binding receptor for dengue and Zika virus NS1, in cultured liver and in mosquito cells. The results indicate that flavivirus NS1, a bona fide lipoprotein, usurps the human HDL receptor and may offer explanations for the alterations in serum lipoprotein homeostasis observed in dengue patients.

2021 ◽  
Andreia P Alves ◽  
Sandra M Rocha ◽  
Ana C Mamede ◽  
Marco G Alves ◽  
Pedro F Oliveira ◽  

Abstract Background: The human Amniotic Membrane (hAM) has been studied as a potential therapeutic option in cancer, namely in hepatocellular carcinoma. Previously, our research group evaluated the effect of human Amniotic Membrane Protein Extracts (hAMPE) in cancer therapy, demonstrating that hAMPE inhibit the metabolic activity of human hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines: Hep3B2.1-7, HepG2 and Huh7. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of hAMPE treatment in glucose metabolism of hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods and Results: Glucose uptake and lactate production was assessed by 1H-NMR, and the expression of several mediators of the glycolytic pathway was evaluated by Western blot or fluorescence. Our results showed that hAMPE treatment increased glucose consumption on Hep3B2.1-7, HepG2, and Huh7 through the increase of GLUT1 in Hep3B2.1-7 and Huh7, and GLUT3 in HepG2 cells. It was observed increased expression of 6-phosphofrutokinase (PFK-1L) in all cell lines, indicating that glucose can be converted to pyruvate. Also, it was verified that glucose seems not to be converted to lactate on HepG2 and Huh7 cells, suggesting that hAMPE treatment may contradict the Warburg effect observed in carcinogenesis. In Hep3B2.1-7, the hAMPE treatment induced an increase in expression of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and monocarboxylate transporter isoform 4 (MCT4). Conclusions: Overall, this work highlighted the potential usefulness of hAMPE as anticancer therapy through the modulation of the glycolytic metabolism in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

2021 ◽  
Vol 11 ◽  
Qianqian Zhang ◽  
Xiaohong Deng ◽  
Xiuxin Tang ◽  
Ying You ◽  
Meihua Mei ◽  

PurposeHepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a worldwide leading cause of morbidity and mortality, is the most frequent primary liver tumor. Most HCC patients are diagnosed with advanced liver cancer, resulting in a very low 5-year survival rate. Thus, there is an urgent need for the development of targeted therapies. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect and mechanism of the miR-20a/EZH1 axis on the proliferation and metastasis of HCC and the inhibitory effect of the EZH1/EZH2 inhibitor UNC1999 on HCC.Materials and MethodsThe expression of miR-20a in human HCC tissues and cell lines was detected using quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The expressions of proteins were analyzed with immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Luciferase assay was used to verify whether miR-20a targets EZH1 or EZH2. The effect of miR-20a on HCC progression was studied in vivo and in vitro. The tumor inhibitory effect of UNC1999 was confirmed in vivo. CCK8 assay, wound healing assay, cell migration and invasion assay were used to evaluate the synergistic effect of UNC1999 with sorafenib. RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) was performed to screen the differentially expressed genes in the Huh7 and SMMC7721 cell lines after UNC1999, sorafenib, and combination treatments.ResultsIn this study, miR-20a showed a lower expression in both HCC tissues and cell lines. MiR-20a inhibited the proliferation and migration of SMMC7721 and Huh7 cells. The results of the luciferase assay and Western blot analysis revealed that miR-20a directly targeted EZH1, a histone methyltransferase. We demonstrated that miR-20a negatively regulated the expression of EZH1 and inhibited the proliferation and metastasis of HCC by reducing H3K27 methylation. We found UNC1999 inhibited tumor cells proliferation and enhanced the inhibitory effect of sorafenib.ConclusionWe demonstrated that miR-20a suppresses the tumor proliferation and metastasis in HCC by directly targeting EZH1. UNC1999 can inhibit tumor proliferation in vivo and increase the sensitivity of hepatoma cell lines to sorafenib.

Tumor Biology ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 43 (1) ◽  
pp. 309-325
Yuko Takeba ◽  
Yuki Ohta ◽  
Masanori Ootaki ◽  
Tsukasa Kobayashi ◽  
Keisuke Kida ◽  

BACKGROUND: Cytokines play an important role in the immune response, angiogenesis, cell growth, and differentiation in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). OBJECTIVE: We performed a comprehensive study to identify tumor-related cytokines and pathways involved in HCC pathogenesis. METHODS: Cytokine production was evaluated in human HCC tissues and adjacent non-tumor tissues using an antibody-based protein array technique. We compared cytokine expression in HCC tissues with that of hepatic hemangioma (HH), liver metastasis of colorectal cancer, and noncancerous liver tissues from transplantation donors. The protein levels and localization of the candidate cytokines were analyzed by western blotting and immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: Increased expression of interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist, macrophage migration inhibitory factor, and IL-16 was observed in HCC and paired adjacent non-tumor tissues compared with noncancerous livers. In addition, there were increased IL-16 levels in HCC tissues compared with HH. IL-16 treatment significantly increased cell proliferation in vitro. The expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 and cyclin D1 was markedly increased in cells from two HCC cell lines, Huh7 and HepG2, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Phosphorylated to total ERK1/2 ratio was increased in Huh7 cells following IL-16 50 ng/ml, but not HepG2 cells. ERK phosphorylation have occurred earlier than protein accumulation at 48 h. Pretreatment with the ERK inhibitor, FR18024, or an anti-IL-16 antibody reduced the increase in IL-16 production in HCC cells. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that cell proliferation induced by IL-16 is mediated through the ERK pathway, thus, we identified a new factor associated with HCC tumor growth.

Molecules ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 26 (23) ◽  
pp. 7382
Seydou Ka ◽  
Natacha Mérindol ◽  
Insa Seck ◽  
Simon Ricard ◽  
Abdoulaye Diop ◽  

Amaryllidaceae plants are rich in alkaloids with biological properties. Pancratium trianthum is an Amaryllidaceae species widely used in African folk medicine to treat several diseases such as central nervous system disorders, tumors, and microbial infections, and it is used to heal wounds. The current investigation explored the biological properties of alkaloid extracts from bulbs of P. trianthum collected in the Senegalese flora. Alkaloid extracts were analyzed and identified by chromatography and mass spectrometry. Alkaloid extracts from P. trianthum displayed pleiotropic biological properties. Cytotoxic activity of the extracts was determined on hepatocarcinoma Huh7 cells and on acute monocytic leukemia THP-1 cells, while agar diffusion and microdilution assays were used to evaluate antibacterial activity. Antiviral activity was measured by infection of extract-treated cells with dengue virus (DENVGFP) and human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1GFP) reporter vectors. Cytotoxicity and viral inhibition were the most striking of P. trianthum’s extract activities. Importantly, non-cytotoxic concentrations were highly effective in completely preventing DENVGFP replication and in reducing pseudotyped HIV-1GFP infection levels. Our results show that P. trianthum is a rich source of molecules for the potential discovery of new treatments against various diseases. Herein, we provide scientific evidence to rationalize the traditional uses of P. trianthum for wound treatment as an anti-dermatosis and antiseptic agent.

BMC Chemistry ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Mohammed Hawash ◽  
Deniz Cansen Kahraman ◽  
Sezen Guntekin Ergun ◽  
Rengul Cetin-Atalay ◽  
Sultan Nacak Baytas

Abstract Background Liver cancer is predicted to be the sixth most diagnosed cancer globally and fourth leading cause of cancer deaths. In this study, a series of indole-3-isoxazole-5-carboxamide derivatives were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for their anticancer activities. The chemical structures of these of final compounds and intermediates were characterized by using IR, HRMS, 1H-NMR and 13C-NMR spectroscopy and element analysis. Results The cytotoxic activity was performed against Huh7, MCF7 and HCT116 cancer cell lines using sulforhodamine B assay. Some compounds showed potent anticancer activities and three of them were chosen for further evaluation on liver cancer cell lines based on SRB assay and real-time cell growth tracking analysis. Compounds were shown to cause arrest in the G0/G1 phase in Huh7 cells and caused a significant decrease in CDK4 levels. A good correlation was obtained between the theoretical predictions of bioavailability using Molinspiration calculation, Lipinski’s rule of five, and experimental verification. These investigations reveal that indole-isoxazole hybrid system have the potential for the development of novel anticancer agents. Conclusions This study has provided data that will form the basis of further studies that aim to optimize both the design and synthesis of novel compounds that have higher anticancer activities.

2021 ◽  
mohammad panahi ◽  
Saeed Samani ◽  
Nasrin Mohajeri ◽  
Akram Sadat Tabatabee Bafroee ◽  
Kazem Baesi ◽  

Abstract A recent suggestion for cancer therapy is targeting intracellular homeostatic signaling pathways like autophagy providing the balance between metabolism and cell cycling. Our study focused on investigating the relationship between autophagy activation by Beclin1 transfection and assessing Terf1 and Terf2 expression as shelterin proteins. The beclin1-containing plasmid was introduced to the U-2OS and Huh7 cell lines using Lipofectamine. The LC3-II as an intracellular autophagosomal marker was detected in transfected cells by flow cytometry. Also, the cells were treated with 3-methyladenine and metformin as autophagy inhibitors and inducers, respectively. Finally, the expression levels of Terf1 and Terf2 were analyzed by real-time PCR. Fluorescent images and flow cytometry results proved excellent GFP expression in the transfected cells. The results of real-time PCR demonstrated that autophagy induction by Beclin1 was increased Terf1 expression level in U-2OS cells up to 451%, while Huh7 cells suffered from the decreased expression of Terf1. Altogether, Terf2 expression was enhanced significantly in both cell lines after 48h treatment in comparison with 24h treatment. The obtained data provided that Beclin1-based activation of autophagy leads to overexpression of some protective shelterin proteins.

2021 ◽  
Vol 14 (12) ◽  
pp. 1236
Aussara Panya ◽  
Kanyaluck Jantakee ◽  
Suthida Punwong ◽  
Supawadee Thongyim ◽  
Thida Kaewkod ◽  

Traditional Triphala (three fruits), consisting of Phyllanthus emblica, Terminalia chebula, and Terminalia bellirica, presents a broad range of biological activities. However, its ability to inhibit dengue virus (DENV) infection has not been reported yet. Herein, the authors investigated the efficiency of three different Triphala formulations and its individual extract constituents to inhibit DENV infection. Treatment with T. bellirica extract or Triphala formulated with a high ratio of T. bellirica extract showed remarkable efficiency in significantly lowering DENV infection in Vero cells. Their effects were further studied in Huh7 cells, to address its potential ability in human cells. Treatment with 100 μg/mL of T. bellirica extract or Triphala resulted in an approximate 3000-fold or 1000-fold lowering of virus production, respectively. Furthermore, the treatment diminished IL-6 and CXCL-10 expressions, which are the hallmark of the cytokine storm phenomenon in DENV infection. The HPLC profiling demonstrated gallic acid as a major compound, the treatment by which showed its ability to effectively inhibit DENV infection after virus entry. Molecular docking demonstrated that gallic acid was able to interact with DENV NS5 protein, which could be one of Triphala’s antiviral mechanism. This study offers Triphala formulation and its ingredient, T. bellirica extract, as a natural based pharmaceutical to be used in DENV infection treatment.

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