Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New genetic screen paves the way for long-sought treatments for liver disease

Date:
April 11, 2013
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
Chronic liver failure is a major health problem that causes about one million deaths each year. A new study reveals a new type of screen for identifying genes that promote liver repair in mouse models of liver disease. The study shows that the MKK4 gene could be a promising therapeutic target to enhance liver regeneration and provides a blueprint for future studies aimed at discovering new therapies for liver disease.

Chronic liver failure is a major health problem that causes about one million deaths around the world each year. A study published April 11th by Cell Press in the journal Cell reveals a new type of screen for identifying genes that promote liver repair in mouse models of both acute and chronic liver disease. The study shows that the MKK4 gene could be a promising therapeutic target to enhance liver regeneration and provides a blueprint for future studies aimed at discovering new therapies for liver disease.

Related Articles


"It is now conceivable to develop specific pharmacological inhibitors of MKK4 in order to treat patients with liver disease," says senior study author Lars Zender of University Hospital Tuebingen. "Such treatment strategies are urgently needed in the clinic, as currently the only curative treatment option for patients with end-stage liver disease is liver transplantation, and the number of donors is limited."

Chronic liver disease is caused by infections with hepatitis B or C virus, as well as alcohol abuse and malnutrition. Typically, the liver can repair itself after injury by increasing the production of cells called hepatocytes, but serious disease can interfere with this process and ultimately result in liver failure.

To identify potential targets for treating liver disease, Zender and his team developed an unbiased screen to search for genes that regulate liver regeneration in animal disease models. After interfering with the expression of hundreds of genes in mouse livers, they found that MKK4 inhibition increased the production and survival of hepatocytes after acute and chronic liver damage, resulting in healthier livers and an increase in the long-term survival of mice. Moreover, MKK4 inhibition increased the survival and long-term viability of hepatocytes in culture, offering a much-needed strategy for improving cell transplantation in patients with liver disease.

"Based on previous studies, we would not have guessed that MKK4 would strongly influence liver regeneration," Zender says. "Our study shows that genetic screens are a powerful way to search for genes, without any preconceived notions, to identify therapeutic targets that can be used to enhance the regenerative capacity of tissues."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Torsten Wuestefeld, Marina Pesic, Ramona Rudalska, Daniel Dauch, Thomas Longerich, Tae-Won Kang, Tetyana Yevsa, Florian Heinzmann, Lisa Hoenicke, Anja Hohmeyer, Anna Potapova, Ina Rittelmeier, Michael Jarek, Robert Geffers, Maren Scharfe, Frank Klawonn, Peter Schirmacher, Nisar P. Malek, Michael Ott, Alfred Nordheim, Arndt Vogel, Michael P. Manns, Lars Zender. A Direct In Vivo RNAi Screen Identifies MKK4 as a Key Regulator of Liver Regeneration. Cell, Volume 153, Issue 2, 389-401, 11 April 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.03.026

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "New genetic screen paves the way for long-sought treatments for liver disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 April 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411123847.htm>.
Cell Press. (2013, April 11). New genetic screen paves the way for long-sought treatments for liver disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 6, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411123847.htm
Cell Press. "New genetic screen paves the way for long-sought treatments for liver disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130411123847.htm (accessed March 6, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, March 6, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Just A Half-Hour Of Lost Sleep Could Lead To Weight Gain

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) A new study found losing just half an hour of sleep could make you gain weight. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Suicide Rates Up For Young Women In U.S.

Newsy (Mar. 6, 2015) According to a report from the CDC, suicide rates among young women increased from 1994 to 2012 while rates among young men have decreased. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Bupa Eyes India Healthcare Opportunities

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Bupa is hoping to expand in India&apos;s fast-growing health insurance market, once a rule change on foreign investment is implemented. The British private healthcare group&apos;s CEO tells Grace Pascoe why it&apos;s so keen on the new opportunity. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Liberia Releases Last Ebola Patient, But Threat Remains

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) Liberia&apos;s last Ebola patient has been released, and the country hasn&apos;t recorded a new case in a week. However, fears of another outbreak still exist. Video provided by Newsy
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