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J Hepatol. 2018 Aug;69(2):325-335. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.03.016. Epub 2018 Mar 24.

Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and lactate dehydrogenase are targets for therapy of acute liver failure.

Author information

1
Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Pozzuoli, Italy.
2
Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Pozzuoli, Italy; Institute for Applied Mathematics 'Mauro Picone', National Research Council, Naples, Italy.
3
Institute of Protein Biochemistry, National Research Council, Naples, Italy.
4
Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine, Pozzuoli, Italy; Department of Translational Medicine, Federico II University of Naples, Naples, Italy. Electronic address: brunetti@tigem.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Acute liver failure is a rapidly progressive deterioration of hepatic function resulting in high mortality and morbidity. Metabolic enzymes can translocate to the nucleus to regulate histone acetylation and gene expression.

METHODS:

Levels and activities of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were evaluated in nuclear fractions of livers of mice exposed to various hepatotoxins including CD95-antibody, α-amanitin, and acetaminophen. Whole-genome gene expression profiling by RNA-seq was performed in livers of mice with acute liver failure and analyzed by gene ontology enrichment analysis. Cell viability was evaluated in cell lines knocked-down for PDHA1 or LDH-A and in cells incubated with the LDH inhibitor galloflavin after treatment with CD95-antibody. We evaluated whether the histone acetyltransferase inhibitor garcinol or galloflavin could reduce liver damage in mice with acute liver failure.

RESULTS:

Levels and activities of PDHC and LDH were increased in nuclear fractions of livers of mice with acute liver failure. The increase of nuclear PDHC and LDH was associated with increased concentrations of acetyl-CoA and lactate in nuclear fractions, and histone H3 hyper-acetylation. Gene expression in livers of mice with acute liver failure suggested that increased histone H3 acetylation induces the expression of genes related to damage response. Reduced histone acetylation by the histone acetyltransferase inhibitor garcinol decreased liver damage and improved survival in mice with acute liver failure. Knock-down of PDHC or LDH improved viability in cells exposed to a pro-apoptotic stimulus. Treatment with the LDH inhibitor galloflavin that was also found to inhibit PDHC, reduced hepatic necrosis, apoptosis, and expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in mice with acute liver failure. Mice treated with galloflavin also showed a dose-response increase in survival.

CONCLUSION:

PDHC and LDH translocate to the nucleus, leading to increased nuclear concentrations of acetyl-CoA and lactate. This results in histone H3 hyper-acetylation and expression of damage response genes. Inhibition of PDHC and LDH reduces liver damage and improves survival in mice with acute liver failure. Thus, PDHC and LDH are targets for therapy of acute liver failure.

LAY SUMMARY:

Acute liver failure is a rapidly progressive deterioration of liver function resulting in high mortality. In experimental mouse models of acute liver failure, we found that two metabolic enzymes, namely pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and lactic dehydrogenase, translocate to the nucleus resulting in detrimental gene expression. Treatment with an inhibitor of these two enzymes was found to reduce liver damage and to improve survival.

KEYWORDS:

Acute liver failure; Galloflavin; Lactate dehydrogenase; Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex

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