Brg1 promotes liver fibrosis via activation of hepatic stellate cells

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Abstract

Liver fibrosis, an important health concern associated to chronic liver injury that provides a permissive environment for cancer development, is characterized by the persistent deposition of extracellular matrix components mainly derived from activated hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). Brg1, the core subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex, has been proved to associated with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis which may progress to cirrhosis. Herein, we determined whether Brg1 regulates liver fibrosis and examined its mechanism by focusing on HSCs activation. In this study, we demonstrate that Brg1 is elevated in human and mouse fibrotic liver tissues and Brg1 mediate the profibrotic response in activated HSCs. Our data indicate that Brg1 regulates the activation of HSCs through TGFβ/Smad signal pathway. Moreover, Brg1 deficiency mice displayed decreased HSCs activation in vitro and liver fibrogenesis after chronic damage by CCl4 administration. In addition, Brg1 expression is positively correlated with liver fibrosis in cirrhotic patients and may be a prognostic factor in HCC. Collectively, we demonstrate that Brg1 promotes liver fibrosis by activating HSCs and may represent a potential target for anti-fibrotic therapies.

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Li, H., Lan, J., Han, C., Guo, K., Wang, G., Hu, J., … Cao, Z. (2018). Brg1 promotes liver fibrosis via activation of hepatic stellate cells. Experimental Cell Research, 364(2), 191–197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yexcr.2018.02.003

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