PCBP2 siRNA Reverses the Alcohol-induced Pro-fibrogenic Effects in Hepatic Stellate Cells
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Type I collagen accumulates during liver fibrosis primarily because α-complex protein-2 (αCP2), encoded by the poly(rC) binding protein 2 (PCBP2) gene, binds to the 3′ end of the collagen mRNA and increases its half-life. This study aimed to reverse the pro-fibrogenic effect of alcohol on hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) by silencing the PCBP2 gene with siRNA.
The silencing effects of a series of predesigned PCBP2 siRNAs were evaluated in the rat hepatic stellate cell line, HSC-T6. The pro-fibrogenic effects of alcohol on the expression levels of PCBP2 and type-I collagen were examined by several methods. The effect of PCBP2 siRNA on the stability of type I collagen α1(I) mRNA was investigated by an in vitro mRNA decay assay.
We identified one potent PCBP2 siRNA that reversed the alcohol-induced expression of PCBP2 in HSCs. The decay rate of the collagen α1(I) mRNA increased significantly in HSCs treated with the PCBP2 siRNA.
This study provides the first evidence that alcohol up-regulates the expression of PCBP2, which subsequently increases the half-life of collagen α1(I) mRNA. Silencing of PCBP2 using siRNA may provide a promising strategy to reverse the alcohol-induced pro-fibrogenic effects in HSCs.
KEY WORDSalcoholic liver fibrosis mRNA stability PCBP2 siRNA type I collagen
This project has been supported by a grant (1R21AA017960-01A1) from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) at NIH and CA53596 to Wan. We also would like to express thanks for the financial support from a start-up package at the University of Missouri—Kansas City.
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