Yamaguchi, Takashi Kansai Medical University
Yoshida, Katsunori Kansai Medical University
Murata, Miki Kansai Medical University
Suwa, Kanehiko Kansai Medical University
Tsuneyama, Koichi Tokushima University Tokushima University Educator and Researcher Directory KAKEN Search Researchers
Matsuzaki, Koichi Kansai Medical University
Naganuma, Makoto Kansai Medical University
transforming growth factor-β
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by hepatic steatosis with insulin resistance, oxidative stress, lipotoxicity, adipokine secretion by fat cells, endotoxins (lipopolysaccharides) released by gut microbiota, and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Together, these factors promote NAFLD progression from steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and eventually end-stage liver diseases in a proportion of cases. Hepatic fibrosis and carcinogenesis often progress together, sharing inflammatory pathways. However, NASH can lead to hepatocarcinogenesis with minimal inflammation or fibrosis. In such instances, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and lipotoxicity can directly lead to liver carcinogenesis through genetic and epigenetic alterations. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signaling is implicated in hepatic fibrogenesis and carcinogenesis. TGF-β type I receptor (TβRI) and activated-Ras/c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) differentially phosphorylate the mediator Smad3 to create two phospho-isoforms: C-terminally phosphorylated Smad3 (pSmad3C) and linker-phosphorylated Smad3 (pSmad3L). TβRI/pSmad3C signaling terminates cell proliferation, while constitutive Ras activation and JNK-mediated pSmad3L promote hepatocyte proliferation and carcinogenesis. The pSmad3L signaling pathway also antagonizes cytostatic pSmad3C signaling. This review addresses TGF-β/Smad signaling in hepatic carcinogenesis complicating NASH. We also discuss Smad phospho-isoforms as biomarkers predicting HCC in NASH patients with or without cirrhosis.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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