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J Cell Mol Med. 2019 Jun;23(6):3940-3950. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.14275. Epub 2019 Apr 2.

PI3-kinase/Akt pathway-regulated membrane transportation of acid-sensing ion channel 1a/Calcium ion influx/endoplasmic reticulum stress activation on PDGF-induced HSC Activation.

Zuo L1, Zhu Y2,3, Hu L2,3, Liu Y2,3, Wang Y4, Hu Y2,3, Wang H2,3, Pan X2,3, Li K2,3, Du N2,3, Huang Y2,3.

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Department of Pharmacy, Hospital of Armed Police of Anhui Province, Hefei, China.
School of Pharmacy, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.
Institute for Liver Diseases, Anhui Medical University, Hefei, China.
The First Affiliated Hospital of USTC, Division of Life Sciences and Medicine, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China.


Acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) allows Na+ and Ca2+ flow into cells. It is expressed during inflammation, in tumour and ischaemic tissue, in the central nervous system and non-neuronal injury environments. Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) is caused by the accumulation of misfolded proteins that interferes with intracellular calcium homoeostasis. Our recent reports showed ASIC1a and ERS are involved in liver fibrosis progression, particularly in hepatic stellate cell (HSC) activation. In this study, we investigated the roles of ASIC1a and ERS in activated HSC. We found that ASIC1a and ERS-related proteins were up-regulated in carbon tetrachloride (CCl4 )-induced fibrotic mouse liver tissues, and in patient liver tissues with hepatocellular carcinoma with severe liver fibrosis. The results show silencing ASIC1a reduced the expression of ERS-related biomarkers GRP78, Caspase12 and IREI-XBP1. And, ERS inhibition by 4-PBA down-regulated the high expression of ASIC1a induced by PDGF, suggesting an interactive relationship. In PDGF-induced HSCs, ASIC1a was activated and migrated to the cell membrane, leading to extracellular calcium influx and ERS, which was mediated by PI3K/AKT pathway. Our work shows PDGF-activated ASIC1a via the PI3K/AKT pathway, induced ERS and promoted liver fibrosis progression.


ERS ; PDGF ; ASIC1a; HSCs; PI3K/AKT; liver fibrosis

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