Alcohol dysregulates miR-148a in hepatocytes through FoxO1, facilitating pyroptosis via TXNIP overexpression.
Gut. 2018 Feb 23. Epub 2018 Feb 23. PMID: 29475852
Mi Jeong Heo
OBJECTIVE: Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a leading cause of death among chronic liver diseases. However, its pathogenesis has not been completely established. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are key contributors to liver diseases progression. This study investigated hepatocyte-abundant miRNAs dysregulated by ALD, its impact on hepatocyte injury and the underlying basis.
DESIGN: Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) human and animal liver samples and hepatocytes were used to assess miR-148a levels. Pre-miR-148a was delivered specifically to hepatocytes in vivo using lentivirus. Immunoblottings, luciferase reporter assays, chromatin immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence assays were carried out in cell models.
RESULTS: The miRNA profile and PCR analyses enabled us to find substantial decrease of miR-148a in the liver of patients with AH. In mice subjected to Lieber-DeCarli alcohol diet or binge alcohol drinking, miR-148a levels were also markedly reduced. In cultured hepatocytes and mouse livers, alcohol exposure inhibited forkhead box protein O1 (FoxO1) expression, which correlated with miR-148a levels and significantly decreased in human AH specimens. FoxO1 was identified as a transcription factor fortransactivation. MiR-148a directly inhibited thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) expression. Consequently, treatment of hepatocytes with ethanol resulted in TXNIP overexpression, activating NLRP3 inflammasome and caspase-1-mediated pyroptosis. These events were reversed by miR-148a mimic or TXNIP small-interfering RNA transfection. Hepatocyte-specific delivery of miR-148a to mice abrogated alcohol-induced TXNIP overexpression and inflammasome activation, attenuating liver injury.
CONCLUSION: Alcohol decreases miR-148a expression in hepatocytes through FoxO1, facilitating TXNIP overexpression and NLRP3 inflammasome activation, which induces hepatocyte pyroptosis. Our findings provide information on novel targets for reducing incidence and progression of ALD.