SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

Liver regeneration is of major clinical importance in the setting of liver injury, resection, and transplantation. A20, a potent antiinflammatory and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) inhibitory protein, has established pro-proliferative properties in hepatocytes, in part through decreasing expression of the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor, p21. Both C-terminal (7-zinc fingers; 7Zn) and N-terminal (Nter) domains of A20 were required to decrease p21 and inhibit NF-κB. However, both independently increased hepatocyte proliferation, suggesting that additional mechanisms contributed to the pro-proliferative function of A20 in hepatocytes. We ascribed one of A20′s pro-proliferative mechanisms to increased and sustained interleukin (IL)-6-induced signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation, as a result of decreased hepatocyte expression of the negative regulator of IL-6 signaling, suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3). This novel A20 function segregates with its 7Zn not Nter domain. Conversely, total and partial loss of A20 in hepatocytes increased SOCS3 expression, hampering IL-6-induced STAT3 phosphorylation. Following liver resection in mice pro-proliferative targets downstream of IL-6/STAT3 signaling were increased by A20 overexpression and decreased by A20 knockdown. In contrast, IL-6/STAT3 proinflammatory targets were increased in A20-deficient livers, and decreased or unchanged in A20 overexpressing livers. Upstream of SOCS3, levels of its microRNA regulator miR203 were significantly decreased in A20-deficient livers. Conclusion: A20 enhances IL-6/STAT3 pro-proliferative signals in hepatocytes by down-regulating SOCS3, likely through a miR203-dependent manner. This finding together with A20 reducing the levels of the potent cell cycle brake p21 establishes its pro-proliferative properties in hepatocytes and prompts the pursuit of A20-based therapies to promote liver regeneration and repair. (HEPATOLOGY 2013)