Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists identify key protein linked to acute liver failure: Inhibition of protein protects liver from acetaminophen toxicity in mice

Date:
September 7, 2011
Source:
University of Southern California
Summary:
New research shows that inhibition of the Sab protein prevents liver damage associated with acetaminophen overdose. The results suggest that inhibition of the protein can protect against various types of cellular death in any organ.

New research from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) may help prevent damage to the liver caused by drugs like acetaminophen and other stressors.

Related Articles


Acetaminophen, more commonly known as Tylenol, helps relieve pain and reduce fever. The over-the-counter drug is a major ingredient in many cold and flu remedies as well as prescription painkillers like Percocet and Vicodin.

However, metabolized by the liver, acetaminophen is the most common cause of drug-induced liver disease and acute liver failure in the United States and United Kingdom. Tylenol's maker announced in July that it was lowering the maximum recommended daily dosage to 3,000 milligrams to help prevent accidental overdoses.

Doctors at the Keck School of Medicine of USC have identified a protein on the mitochondria of liver cells in mice that, when silenced, protects against liver toxicity usually associated with excess doses of acetaminophen.

They found that the protein Sab, or SH3-domain binding protein 5, binds with the enzyme JNK (c-Jun N-terminal kinase). JNK regulates cellular metabolism and survival in response to stress, protecting cells when activated for brief intervals. However, JNK also kills cells when activated for prolonged periods of time.

"Because the short-term activation of JNK is associated with cell survival, Sab is potentially a better target than inhibiting JNK, which could have adverse effects," said Neil Kaplowitz, M.D., the study's lead investigator and professor of medicine at the Keck School.

Researchers have long believed that acetaminophen was converted into toxic metabolites that, in excess, overwhelm liver cells, causing them to die. In a 2008 study, Kaplowitz, who holds the Keck School's Thomas H. Brem Chair in Medicine and Veronica P. Budnick Chair in Liver Disease, and other USC colleagues turned that theory around -- they found that it was not the metabolite, but rather the sustained activation of JNK that harmed the organ. By inhibiting JNK activation in mice, injury to the liver caused by large doses of acetaminophen was avoided.

In the current study, published online by the Journal of Biological Chemistry in August, the scientists silenced Sab in mice, which did not affect the metabolism of acetaminophen but successfully prevented liver injury. They also tested the effect on liver injury caused by apoptosis, or programmed cell death in response to inflammatory proteins that are implicated in many diseases and tissues -- silencing Sab protected the liver in that case, too.

"We proved that the sustained activation of JNK targets Sab and is a requirement for the subsequent death of liver cells," Kaplowitz said. "We then showed that it is a universal effect. Developing a drug to protect against cell death, one could argue to target JNK -- but that's a double-edged sword. This provides a whole new target: Create a drug that inhibits the interaction between JNK and Sab."

Co-authors include Sanda Win, Tin Aung Than, Derick Han and Lydia M. Petrovic. Their research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southern California. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. S. Win, T. A. Than, D. Han, L. M. Petrovic, N. Kaplowitz. JNK dependent acute liver injury from acetaminophen or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) requires mitochondrial SAB expression in mice. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.276089

Cite This Page:

University of Southern California. "Scientists identify key protein linked to acute liver failure: Inhibition of protein protects liver from acetaminophen toxicity in mice." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907163904.htm>.
University of Southern California. (2011, September 7). Scientists identify key protein linked to acute liver failure: Inhibition of protein protects liver from acetaminophen toxicity in mice. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907163904.htm
University of Southern California. "Scientists identify key protein linked to acute liver failure: Inhibition of protein protects liver from acetaminophen toxicity in mice." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110907163904.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Solitair Device Aims to Takes Guesswork out of Sun Safety

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 31, 2015) — The Solitair device aims to take the confusion out of how much sunlight we should expose our skin to. Small enough to be worn as a tie or hair clip, it monitors the user&apos;s sun exposure by taking into account their skin pigment, location and schedule. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Soda, Salt and Sugar: The Next Generation of Taxes

Washington Post (Mar. 30, 2015) — Denisa Livingston, a health advocate for the Dinι Community Advocacy Alliance, and the Post&apos;s Abby Phillip discuss efforts around the country to make unhealthy food choices hurt your wallet as much as your waistline. Video provided by Washington Post
Powered by NewsLook.com
UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

UnitedHealth Buys Catamaran

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) — The $12.8 billion merger will combine the U.S.&apos; third and fourth largest pharmacy benefit managers. Analysts say smaller PBMs could also merge. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

S. Leone in New Anti-Ebola Lockdown

AFP (Mar. 28, 2015) — Sierra Leone imposed a three-day nationwide lockdown Friday for the second time in six months in a bid to prevent a resurgence of the deadly Ebola virus. Duration: 01:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins