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β2-spectrin (SPTBN1) as a therapeutic target for diet-induced liver disease and preventing cancer development
Filed under: Disease modeling, NAFLD/NASH, and Oncology
Rao et al., 2021
The prevalence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and liver cancer is increasing. De novo lipogenesis and fibrosis contribute to disease progression and cancerous transformation. Here, we found that β2-spectrin (SPTBN1) promotes sterol regulatory element (SRE)–binding protein (SREBP)–stimulated lipogenesis and development of liver cancer in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) or a western diet (WD). Either hepatocyte-specific knockout of SPTBN1 or siRNA-mediated therapy protected mice from HFD/WD-induced obesity and fibrosis, lipid accumulation, and tissue damage in the liver. Biochemical analysis suggested that HFD/WD induces SPTBN1 and SREBP1 cleavage by CASPASE-3 and that the cleaved products interact to promote expression of genes with sterol response elements. Analysis of human NASH tissue revealed increased SPTBN1 and CASPASE-3 expression. Thus, our data indicate that SPTBN1 represents a potential target for therapeutic intervention in NASH and liver cancer.