Oxidative liver injury during steatohepatitis results in aggregation and transglutaminase-2 (TG2)-mediated crosslinking of the keratin cytoplasmic intermediate filament proteins (IFs) to form Mallory-Denk body (MDB) inclusions. The effect of liver injury on lamin nuclear IFs is unknown, though lamin mutations in several human diseases result in lamin disorganization and nuclear shape changes. We tested the hypothesis that lamins undergo aggregation during oxidative liver injury using two MDB mouse models: (i) mice fed the porphyrinogenic drug 3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine (DDC) and (ii) mice that harbor a mutation in ferrochelatase (fch), which converts protoporphyrin IX to heme. Dramatic aggregation of lamin A/C and B1 was noted in the livers of both models in association with changes in lamin organization and nuclear shape, as determined by immunostaining and electron microscopy. The lamin aggregates sequester other nuclear proteins including transcription factors and ribosomal and nuclear pore components into high molecular weight complexes, as determined by mass-spectrometry and confirmed biochemically. Lamin aggregate formation is rapid and precedes keratin aggregation in fch livers, and is seen in liver explants of patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. Exposure of cultured cells to DDC, protoporphyrin IX or Nmethyl- protoporphyrin, or incubation of purified lamins with protoporphyrin IX, also results in lamin aggregation. In contrast, lamin aggregation is ameliorated by TG2 inhibition. Therefore, lamin aggregation is an early sensor of porphyria-associated liver injury and might serve to buffer oxidative stress. The nuclear shape and lamin defects associated with porphyria phenocopy the changes seen in laminopathies and could result in transcriptional alterations due to sequestration of nuclear proteins.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology
- Lamin aggregation
- Liver injury
- Mallory-Denk bodies