Martin Kristian Thomsen

Liver carcinogenesis by FOS-dependent inflammation and cholesterol dysregulation

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Latifa Bakiri, Genes, Development and Disease Group, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), E-28029 Madrid, Spain.
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  • Rainer Hamacher, Genes, Development and Disease Group, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), E-28029 Madrid, Spain.
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  • Osvaldo Graña, Bioinformatics Unit, Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), E-28029 Madrid, Spain.
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  • Ana Guío-Carrión, Genes, Development and Disease Group, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), E-28029 Madrid, Spain.
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  • Ramón Campos-Olivas, Spectroscopy and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy Unit, Structural Biology and Biocomputing Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), E-28029 Madrid, Spain.
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  • Lola Martinez, Flow Cytometry Core Unit, Biotechnology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), E-28029 Madrid, Spain.
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  • Hans P Dienes, Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria.
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  • Martin K Thomsen
  • Sebastian C Hasenfuss, Genes, Development and Disease Group, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), E-28029 Madrid, Spain.
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  • Erwin F Wagner, Genes, Development and Disease Group, Cancer Cell Biology Programme, Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO), E-28029 Madrid, Spain ewagner@cnio.es.

Human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs), which arise on a background of chronic liver damage and inflammation, express c-Fos, a component of the AP-1 transcription factor. Using mouse models, we show that hepatocyte-specific deletion of c-Fos protects against diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced HCCs, whereas liver-specific c-Fos expression leads to reversible premalignant hepatocyte transformation and enhanced DEN-carcinogenesis. c-Fos-expressing livers display necrotic foci, immune cell infiltration, and altered hepatocyte morphology. Furthermore, increased proliferation, dedifferentiation, activation of the DNA damage response, and gene signatures of aggressive HCCs are observed. Mechanistically, c-Fos decreases expression and activity of the nuclear receptor LXRα, leading to increased hepatic cholesterol and accumulation of toxic oxysterols and bile acids. The phenotypic consequences of c-Fos expression are partially ameliorated by the anti-inflammatory drug sulindac and largely prevented by statin treatment. An inverse correlation between c-FOS and the LXRα pathway was also observed in human HCC cell lines and datasets. These findings provide a novel link between chronic inflammation and metabolic pathways important in liver cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume214
Issue5
ISSN0022-1007
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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