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Age-associated change of C/EBP family proteins causes severe liver injury and acceleration of liver proliferation after CCl4 treatments.

Authors: Il-Hwa IH. Hong, Kyle K. Lewis, Polina P. Iakova, Jingling J. Jin, Emily E. Sullivan, Nicole N. Jawanmardi, Lubov L. Timchenko, Nikolai N. Timchenko
Published: 11/22/2013, The Journal of biological chemistry


The aged liver is more sensitive to the drug treatments and has a high probability of developing liver disorders such as fibrosis, cirrhosis, and cancer. Here we present mechanisms underlying age-associated severe liver injury and acceleration of liver proliferation after CCl4 treatments. We have examined liver response to CCl4 treatments using old WT mice and young C/EBPα-S193D knockin mice, which express an aged-like isoform of C/EBPα. Both animal models have altered chromatin structure as well as increased liver injury and proliferation after acute CCl4 treatments. We found that these age-related changes are associated with the repression of key regulators of liver biology: C/EBPα, Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR) and telomere reverse transcriptase (TERT). In quiescent livers of old WT and young S193D mice, the inhibition of TERT is mediated by HDAC1-C/EBPα complexes. After CCl4 treatments, TERT, C/EBPα and FXR are repressed by different mechanisms. These mechanisms include the increase of a dominant negative isoform, C/EBPβ-LIP, and subsequent repression of C/EBPα, FXR, and TERT promoters. C/EBPβ-LIP also disrupts Rb-E2F1 complexes in C/EBPα-S193D mice after CCl4 treatments. To examine if these alterations are involved in drug-mediated liver diseases, we performed chronic treatments of mice with CCl4. We found that C/EBPα-S193D mice developed fibrosis much more rapidly than WT mice. Thus, our data show that the age-associated alterations of C/EBP proteins create favorable conditions for the increased liver proliferation after CCl4 treatments and for development of drug-mediated liver diseases.

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