Tumor necrosis factor-alpha modulates CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins-DNA binding activities and promotes hepatocyte-specific gene expression during liver regeneration.
Injury-related cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF), may preserve liver-specific gene expression during the subsequent regenerative response by modulating the activity of transcription factors, including CCAAT/enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs), which regulate differentiated gene expression in hepatocytes. To test this theory, rats were treated with neutralizing antibody to TNF or nonimmune immunoglobulin before partial hepatectomy (PH) and regenerative changes in the messenger RNAs (mRNAs), proteins, and DNA-binding activities of C/EBP isoforms and the expression of a C/EBP-regulated gene, phosphoenol pyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK), were compared. Before PH, the expressions of C/EBP-alpha, C/EBP-beta, and C/EBP-gamma were similar in the two treatment groups. Dimers containing C/EBP-alpha and C/EBP-beta accounted for virtually all of the C/EBP DNA binding activity and mRNA for PEPCK, the rate limiting hepatocyte enzyme for gluconeogenesis, was barely detected. After PH, in control rats, mRNA and nuclear protein concentrations of C/EBP-beta and C/EBP-gamma increased approximately fivefold by 3 hours after PH. This was accompanied by increased DNA binding activity of these C/EBP isoforms and decreased DNA binding activity of C/EBP-alpha. mRNA levels of PEPCK, a gene that is strongly transactivated by non-alpha C/EBP isoforms, increased fivefold. Pretreatment with anti-TNF antibodies prevented regenerative induction of C/EBP beta and gamma expression and DNA-binding activity. The nature of dimers binding to C/EBP cis-acting elements remained similar to that observed in liver before PH and increases in PEPCK mRNA were blunted. These results support the theory that TNF helps maintain liver-specific gene expression during liver regeneration by altering transcription factor complexes that regulate differentiated gene expression in hepatocytes.
Diehl, AM; Yang, SQ; Yin, M; Lin, HZ; Nelson, S; Bagby, G
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