TXNIP/VDUP1 attenuates steatohepatitis via autophagy and fatty acid oxidation.Autophagy. 2020 Nov 16 [Online ahead of print]A
Impaired macroautophagy/autophagy has been implicated in experimental and human nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). However, the mechanism underlying autophagy dysregulation in NASH is largely unknown. Here, we investigated the role and mechanism of TXNIP/VDUP1 (thioredoxin interacting protein), a key mediator of cellular stress responses, in the pathogenesis of NASH. Hepatic TXNIP expression was upregulated in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients and in methionine choline-deficient (MCD) diet-fed mice, as well as in palmitic acid (PA)-treated hepatocytes. Upregulation of hepatic TXNIP was positively correlated with impaired autophagy, as evidenced by a decreased number of MAP1LC3B/LC3B (microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta) puncta and increased SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1) expression. Deletion of the Txnip gene enhanced hepatic steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis, accompanied by impaired autophagy and fatty acid oxidation (FAO) in MCD diet-fed mice. Mechanistically, TXNIP directly interacted with and positively regulated p-PRKAA, leading to inactivation of MTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase) complex 1 (MTORC1) and nuclear translocation of TFEB (transcription factor EB), which in turn promoted autophagy. Inhibition of MTORC1 by rapamycin induced autophagy and increased the expression levels of FAO-related genes and concomitantly attenuated lipid accumulation in PA-treated txnip-knockout (KO) hepatocytes, which was further abolished by silencing of Atg7. Rapamycin treatment also attenuated MCD diet-induced steatosis, inflammation, and fibrosis with increased TFEB nuclear translocation and restored FAO in txnip-KO mice. Our findings suggest that elevated TXNIP ameliorates steatohepatitis by interacting with PRKAA and thereby inducing autophagy and FAO. Targeting TXNIP may be a potential therapeutic approach for NASH.Abbreviations: ACOX1: acyl-Coenzyme A oxidase 1, palmitoyl; ACSL1: acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 1; ACTA2/α-SMA: actin, alpha 2, smooth muscle, aorta; ACTB: actin beta; ADGRE1/F4/80: adhesion G protein-coupled receptor E1; AMPK: AMP-activated protein kinase; ATG: autophagy-related; BafA1: bafilomycin A1; COL1A1/Col1α1: collagen, type I, alpha 1; CPT1A: carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1a, liver; CQ: chloroquine; DGAT1: diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 1; DGAT2: diacylglycerol O-acyltransferase 2; ECI2/Peci: enoyl-Coenzyme A isomerase 2; EHHADH: enoyl-Coenzyme A, hydratase/3-hydroxyacyl Coenzyme A dehydrogenase; FAO: fatty acid oxidation; FASN: fatty acid synthase; FFA: free fatty acids; GFP: green fluorescent protein; GK/GYK: glycerol kinase; GOT1/AST: glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase 1, soluble; GPAM: glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, mitochondrial; GPT/ALT: glutamic pyruvic transaminase, soluble; H&E: hematoxylin and eosin; IL1B/IL-1β: interleukin 1 beta; IL6: interleukin 6; IOD: integral optical density; KO: knockout; Leu: leupeptin; LPIN1: lipin 1; MAP1LC3B/LC3B: microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 beta; MCD: methionine choline-deficient; MMP9: matrix metallopeptidase 9; mRNA: messenger RNA; MTORC1: mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase complex 1; NAFLD: nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases; NASH: nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; PA: palmitic acid; PPARA/PPARα: peroxisome proliferator activated receptor alpha; PPARG/PPARγ: peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma; qRT-PCR: quantitative real-time PCR; RPS6KB1/p70S6K1: ribosomal protein S6 kinase, polypeptide 1; RPTOR: regulatory associated protein of MTOR complex 1; SCD1: stearoyl-Coenzyme A desaturase 1; SEM: standard error of the mean; siRNA: small interfering RNA; SQSTM1/p62: sequestosome 1; TFEB: transcription factor EB; TG: triglyceride; TGFB/TGF-β: transforming growth factor, beta; TIMP1: tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1; TNF/TNF-α: tumor necrosis factor; TXNIP/VDUP1: thioredoxin interacting protein; WT: wild-type.