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Trierweiler C.,University Hospital Freiburg | Hockenjos B.,University Hospital Freiburg | Zatloukal K.,Medical University of Graz | Thimme R.,University Hospital Freiburg | And 3 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2016

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) develops as a consequence of chronic inflammatory liver diseases such as chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The transcription factor c-Jun/activator protein 1 (AP-1) is strongly expressed in response to inflammatory stimuli, promotes hepatocyte survival during acute hepatitis and acts as an oncogene during chemically induced liver carcinogenesis in mice. Here, we therefore aimed to characterize the functions of c-Jun during HBV-related liver tumorigenesis. To this end, transgenic mice expressing all HBV envelope proteins (HBV+), an established model of HBV-related HCC, were crossed with knockout mice lacking c-Jun specifically in hepatocytes and tumorigenesis was analyzed. Hepatic expression of c-Jun was strongly induced at several time points during tumorigenesis in HBV+ mice, whereas expression of other AP-1 components remained unchanged. Importantly, formation of premalignant foci and tumors was strongly reduced in HBV+ mice lacking c-Jun. This phenotype correlated with impaired hepatocyte proliferation and increased expression of the cell cycle inhibitor p21, whereas hepatocyte survival was not affected. Progression and prognosis of HBV-related HCC correlates with the expression of the cytokine osteopontin (Opn), an established AP-1 target gene. Opn expression was strongly reduced in HBV+ livers and primary mouse hepatocytes lacking c-Jun, demonstrating that c-Jun regulates hepatic Opn expression in a cell-autonomous manner. These findings indicate that c-Jun has important functions during HBV-associated tumorigenesis by promoting hepatocyte proliferation as well as progression of dysplasia. Therefore, targeting c-Jun may be a useful strategy to prevent hepatitis-associated tumorigenesis. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Nakashima T.,Tokyo Medical and Dental University | Nakashima T.,Japan Science and Technology Agency | Hayashi M.,Tokyo Medical and Dental University | Hayashi M.,Japan Science and Technology Agency | And 12 more authors.
Nature Medicine | Year: 2011

Osteocytes embedded in bone have been postulated to orchestrate bone homeostasis by regulating both bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts. We find here that purified osteocytes express a much higher amount of receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) and have a greater capacity to support osteoclastogenesis in vitro than osteoblasts and bone marrow stromal cells. Furthermore, the severe osteopetrotic phenotype that we observe in mice lacking RANKL specifically in osteocytes indicates that osteocytes are the major source of RANKL in bone remodeling in vivo. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.


Hasenfuss S.C.,Development and Disease Group | Hasenfuss S.C.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Bakiri L.,Development and Disease Group | Thomsen M.K.,Development and Disease Group | And 2 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2014

The Activator Protein 1 (AP-1) transcription factor subunit Fos-related antigen 1 (Fra-1) has been implicated in liver fibrosis. Here we used loss-of-function as well as switchable, cell type-specific, gain-of-function alleles for Fra-1 to investigate the relevance of Fra-1 expression in cholestatic liver injury and fibrosis. Our results indicate that Fra-1 is dispensable in three well-established, complementary models of liver fibrosis. However, broad Fra-1 expression in adult mice results in liver fibrosis, which is reversible, when ectopic Fra-1 is switched off. Interestingly, hepatocyte-specific Fra-1 expression is not sufficient to trigger the disease, although Fra-1 expression leads to dysregulation of fibrosis-associated genes. Both opn and cxcl9 are controlled by Fra-1 in gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments. Importantly, Fra-1 attenuates liver damage in the 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine-feeding cholestatic liver injury model. Strikingly, manipulating Fra-1 expression affects genes involved in hepatic transport and detoxification, in particular glutathione S-transferases. Molecular analyses indicate that Fra-1 binds to the promoters of cxcl9 and gstp1 in vivo. Furthermore, loss of Fra-1 sensitizes, while hepatic Fra-1 expression protects from acetaminophen-induced liver damage, a paradigm for glutathione-mediated acute liver failure. Conclusion: These data define a novel function of Fra-1/AP-1 in modulating the expression of detoxification genes and the adaptive response of the liver to bile acids/xenobiotic overload. © 2013 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.


Luther J.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Ubieta K.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Hannemann N.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Jimenez M.,Development and Disease Group | And 5 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2014

Adipocyte cell number is a crucial factor for controlling of body weight and metabolic function. The regulation of adipocyte numbers in the adult organism is not fully understood but is considered to depend on the homeostasis of cell differentiation and apoptosis. Herein, we show that targeted deletion of the activator protein (AP-1)-related transcription factor Fra-2 in adipocytes in vivo (Fra-2Δadip mice) induces a high-turnover phenotype with increased differentiation and apoptosis of adipocytes, leading to a decrease in body weight and fat pad mass. Importantly, adipocyte cell numbers were significantly reduced in Fra-2 Δadip mice. At the molecular level, Fra-2 directly binds to the PPARγ2 promoter and represses PPARγ2 expression. Deletion of Fra-2 leads to increased PPARγ2 expression and adipocyte differentiation as well as increased adipocyte apoptosis through upregulation of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). These findings suggest that Fra-2 is an important checkpoint to control adipocyte turnover. Therefore, inhibition of Fra-2 may emerge as a useful strategy to increase adipocyte turnover and to reduce adipocyte numbers and fat mass in the body. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.


Petruzzelli M.,University of Cambridge | Wagner E.F.,Development and Disease Group
Genes and Development | Year: 2016

Metabolic dysfunction contributes to the clinical deterioration observed in advanced cancer patients and is characterized by weight loss, skeletal muscle wasting, and atrophy of the adipose tissue. This systemic syndrome, termed cancer-associated cachexia (CAC), is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. While once attributed solely to decreased food intake, the present description of cancer cachexia is a disorder of multiorgan energy imbalance. Here we review the molecules and pathways responsible for metabolic dysfunction in CAC and the ideas that led to the current understanding. © 2016 Petruzzelli and Wagner.

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