p21 Ablation in Liver Enhances DNA Damage, Cholestasis, and Carcinogenesis

H. Ehedego, M.V. Boekschoten, W. Hu, C. Doler, J. Haybaeck, N. Gassler, M.R. Muller, C. Liedtke, C. Trautwein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Genetic mouse studies suggest that the NF-¿B pathway regulator NEMO (also known as IKK¿) controls chronic inflammation and carcinogenesis in the liver. However, the molecular mechanisms explaining the function of NEMO are not well defined. Here, we report that overexpression of the cell-cycle regulator p21 is a critical feature of liver inflammation and carcinogenesis caused by the loss of NEMO. NEMO¿hepa mice develop chronic hepatitis characterized by increased hepatocyte apoptosis and proliferation that causes the development of fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), similar to the situation in human liver disease. Having identified p21 overexpression in this model, we evaluated its role in disease progression and LPS-mediated liver injury in double mutant NEMO¿hepa/p21-/- mice. Eight-week-old NEMO¿hepa/p21-/- animals displayed accelerated liver damage that was not associated with alterations in cell-cycle progression or the inflammatory response. However, livers from NEMO¿hepa/p21-/- mice displayed more severe DNA damage that was further characterized by LPS administration correlating with higher lethality of the animals. This phenotype was attenuated by genetic ablation of the TNF receptor TNF-R1 in NEMO¿hepa/p21-/- mice, demonstrating that DNA damage is induced via TNF. One-year-old NEMO¿hepa/p21-/- mice displayed greater numbers of HCC and severe cholestasis compared with NEMO¿hepa animals. Therefore, p21 overexpression in NEMO¿hepa animals protects against DNA damage, acceleration of hepatocarcinogenesis, and cholestasis. Taken together, our findings illustrate how loss of NEMO promotes chronic liver inflammation and carcinogenesis, and they identify a novel protective role for p21 against the generation of DNA damage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1144-1155
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Research
Volume75
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • kinase inhibitor p21
  • human hepatocellular-carcinoma
  • cell-cycle progression
  • rad51 overexpression
  • expression
  • p21(waf1/cip1)
  • mice
  • inflammation
  • regeneration
  • repair

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