Author(s): Jones K, Timchenko L, Timchenko NA
Abstract Share this page
Abstract Aging liver is characterized by alterations of liver biology and by a reduction of many functions which are important for the maintenance of body homeostasis. The main dysfunctions include appearance of enlarged hepatocytes, impaired liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy (PH), development of hepatic steatosis, reduction of secretion of proteins and alterations in the hepatic sinusoid. RNA binding proteins are involved in the regulation of gene expression in all tissues including regulation of biological processes in the liver. This review is focused on the role of a conserved, multi-functional RNA-binding protein, CUGBP1, in the development of aging phenotype in the liver. CUGBP1 has been identified as a protein which binds to RNA CUG repeats expanded in Myotonic Dystrophy type 1 (DM1). CUGBP1 is highly expressed in the liver and regulates translation of proteins which are critical for maintenance of liver functions. In livers of young mice, CUGBP1 forms complexes with eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF2 and supports translation of C/EBPβ and HDAC1 proteins, which are involved in liver growth, differentiation and liver cancer. Aging changes several signaling pathways which lead to the elevation of the CUGBP1-eIF2α complex and to an increase of translation of C/EBPβ and HDAC1. These proteins form multi-protein complexes with additional transcription factors and with chromatin remodeling proteins causing epigenetic alterations of gene expression in livers of old mice. It appears that CUGBP1-mediated translational elevation of HDAC1 is one of the key events in the epigenetic changes in livers of old mice, leading to the development of age-associated dysfunctions of the liver. This review will also discuss a possible role of CUGBP1 in liver dysfunction in patients affected with DM1. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Ageing Res Rev
and referenced in Single Cell Biology