X-box Binding Protein 1 Regulates Unfolded Protein, Acute-Phase, and DNA Damage Responses During Regeneration of Mouse Liver
Josepmaria Argemí 1 , Theresia R Kress 2 , Haisul C Y Chang 3 , Roberto Ferrero 1 , Cristina Bértolo 1 , Haritz Moreno 3 , Manuela González-Aparicio 4 , Iker Uriarte 5 , Laura Guembe 6 , Víctor Segura 7 , Rubén Hernández-Alcoceba 4 , Matías A Ávila 5 , Bruno Amati 2 , Jesús Prieto 8 , Tomás Aragón 9
Background & aims: Liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH) increases the protein folding burden at the endoplasmic reticulum of remnant hepatocytes, resulting in induction of the unfolded protein response. We investigated the role of the core unfolded protein response transcription factor X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1) in liver regeneration using genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis.
Methods: We performed studies with C57Bl6-J (control) and interleukin 6-knockout mice. Mice underwent PH or sham surgeries. In some mice, hepatic expression of XBP1 was knocked down by injection of adenoviral vectors encoding small hairpin RNAs against Xbp1 messenger RNA. Liver tissues were collected before surgery and at 6 and 48 hours after surgery and analyzed by chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing. We also performed functional analyses of HepG2 cells.
Results: Expression of XBP1 by hepatocytes increased immediately after PH (priming phase of liver regeneration) in control mice, but this effect was delayed in interleukin 6-deficient mice. In mice with knockdown of XBP1, we observed of liver tissue persistent endoplasmic reticulum stress, defects in acute-phase response, and increased hepatocellular damage, compared with control mice.
Chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses of liver tissue showed that at 6 hours after PH, liver XBP1 became bound to a large set of genes implicated in proteostasis, the acute-phase response, metabolism, and the DNA damage response (DDR). At this time point, XBP1 bound the promoter of the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 gene (Stat3). Livers of XBP1-knockdown mice showed reduced expression of STAT3 and had lower levels of STAT3 phosphorylation at Ser727, a modification that promotes cell proliferation and the DDR. Regenerating livers from XBP1-knockdown mice expressed high levels of a marker of DNA double-strand breaks, phosphorylated histone 2A, member X (H2AX), compared with control mice. The inhibition of XBP1 expression caused a reduced up-regulation of DDR messenger RNAs in regenerating hepatocytes.
Conclusion: In livers of mice, we found that PH induces expression of XBP1, and that this activity requires interleukin 6. XBP1 expression regulates the unfolded protein response, acute-phase response, and DDR in hepatocytes. In regenerating livers, XBP1 deficiency leads to endoplasmic reticulum stress and DNA damage.