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Ahnak depletion accelerates liver regeneration by modulating the TGF-モ/Smad signaling pathway
Insook Yang1,# (Graduate student), Yeri Son1,# (Graduate student), Jae Hoon Shin4 (Research worker), Il Yong Kim2 (Research worker), Je Kyung Seong1,2,3,* (Proffessor)
1Laboratory of Developmental Biology and Genomics, College of Veterinary Medicine, Seoul National University,
2Korea Mouse Phenotyping Center, Seoul National University,
3Interdisciplinary Program for Bioinformatics, Program for Cancer Biology and BIO-MAX Institute,
4Department of Surgery, University of Michigan
Ahnak, a large protein first identified as an inhibitor of TGF-モ signaling in human neuroblastoma, was recently shown to promote TGF-モ in some cancers. The TGF-モ signaling pathway regulates cell growth, various biological functions, and cancer growth and metastasis. In this study, we used Ahnak knockout (KO) mice that underwent a 70% partial hepatectomy (PH) to investigate the function of Ahnak in TGF-モ signaling during liver regeneration. At the indicated time points after PH, we analyzed the mRNA and protein expression of the TGF -モ/Smad signaling pathway and cell cycle-related factors, evaluated the cell cycle through proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) immunostaining, analyzed the mitotic index by hematoxylin and eosin staining. We also measured the ratio of liver tissue weight to body weight. Activation of TGF-モ signaling was confirmed by analyzing the levels of phospho-Smad 2 and 3 in the liver at the indicated time points after PH and was lower in Ahnak KO mice than in WT mice. The expression levels of cyclin B1, D1, and E1; proteins in the Rb/E2F transcriptional pathway, which regulates the cell cycle; and the numbers of PCNA-positive cells were increased in Ahnak KO mice and showed tendencies opposite that of TGF-モ expression. During postoperative regeneration, the liver weight to body weight ratio tended to increase faster in Ahnak KO mice. However, 7 days after PH, both groups of mice showed similar rates of regeneration, following which their active regeneration stopped. Analysis of hepatocytes undergoing mitosis showed that there were more mitotic cells in Ahnak KO mice, consistent with the weight ratio. Our findings suggest that Ahnak promotes the TGF-モ signaling pathway during postoperative liver regeneration, resulting in cell cycle disruption, offering a new role for Ahnak. These results provide new insight into liver regeneration and potential treatment targets for liver diseases that require surgical treatment.
Abstract, Accepted Manuscript(in press) [Submitted on April 20, 2022, Accepted on June 30, 2022]
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