Author(s): Mohr L, Tanaka S, Wands JR
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Abstract BACKGROUND & AIMS: Long-term ethanol consumption is known to impair the ability of the liver to regenerate, but the molecular mechanisms are poorly understood. Multiple growth factors promote hepatocyte proliferation, some of which involve the insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS-1)-mediated signal transduction pathway. To explore effects of ethanol on the IRS-1 signal liver growth in vivo, studies in transgenic mice overexpressing IRS-1 in the liver were performed because these mice show constitutive activation of the downstream signal transduction pathways leading to enhanced hepatocyte proliferation. METHODS: Tyrosyl phosphorylation of IRS-1 and subsequent protein-protein interactions were examined in liver lysates from animals fed ethanol or control diet. Activity of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) was assessed by specific enzymatic assays. Hepatocyte proliferation was measured by incorporation of [3H]thymidine into liver DNA. RESULTS: Tyrosyl phosphorylation of IRS-1, association of IRS-1 with PI3K, and activation of downstream PI3K and MAPK pathways were greatly reduced as a result of long-term ethanol consumption. Ethanol virtually abolished the enhanced hepatocyte DNA synthesis induced by expression of the IRS-1 transgene. CONCLUSIONS: Altered transmission of growth signals through the IRS-1-mediated signal transduction cascade may represent a molecular mechanism of how ethanol inhibits hepatocyte proliferation.
This article was published in Gastroenterology
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pathology