Epigenetics in Liver Fibrosis: Could HDACs be a Therapeutic Target?
Alex Claveria-Cabello, Leticia Colyn, Maria Arechederra, Jesus M Urman, Carmen Berasain, Matias A Avila, Maite G Fernandez-Barrena
Chronic liver diseases (CLD) represent a worldwide health problem. While CLDs may have diverse etiologies, a common pathogenic denominator is the presence of liver fibrosis. Cirrhosis, the end-stage of CLD, is characterized by extensive fibrosis and is markedly associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.
The most important event in hepatic fibrogenesis is the activation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC) following liver injury. Activated HSCs acquire a myofibroblast-like phenotype becoming proliferative, fibrogenic, and contractile cells. While transient activation of HSCs is part of the physiological mechanisms of tissue repair, protracted activation of a wound healing reaction leads to organ fibrosis. The phenotypic changes of activated HSCs involve epigenetic mechanisms mediated by non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) as well as by changes in DNA methylation and histone modifications.
During CLD these epigenetic mechanisms become deregulated, with alterations in the expression and activity of epigenetic modulators. Here we provide an overview of the epigenetic alterations involved in fibrogenic HSCs transdifferentiation with particular focus on histones acetylation changes. We also discuss recent studies supporting the promising therapeutic potential of histone deacetylase inhibitors in liver fibrosis.
CITA DEL ARTÍCULO Cells. 2020 Oct 19;9(10):2321. doi: 10.3390/cells9102321.