16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent studies have shown that the transcription factor early growth response-1 (Egr-1) regulates ethanol-induced fatty liver. However, the mechanism(s) through which ethanol oxidation controls Egr-1 is unknown. Here, using recombinant hepatoma (HepG2; VL-17A) cells that metabolize ethanol, we show that alcohol dehydrogenase catalysis of ethanol oxidation and subsequent acetaldehyde production controls Egr-1 expression. Further, the induction of Egr-1 enhances expression of other steatosis-related genes, resulting in triglyceride accumulation. Ethanol exposure increased Egr-1 promoter activity, messenger RNA and Egr-1 protein levels in VL-17A cells. Elevated Egr-1 protein was sustained by an ethanol-induced decrease in proteasome activity, thereby stabilizing the Egr-1 protein. Egr-1 induction depended on ethanol oxidation, as it was prevented when ethanol oxidation was blocked. Ethanol exposure induced Egr-1 and triglyceride accumulation only in alcohol dehydrogenase-expressing cells that produced acetaldehyde. Such induction did not occur in parental, non-metabolizing HepG2 cells or in cells that express only cytochrome P450 2E1. However, direct exposure of HepG2 cells to acetaldehyde induced both Egr-1 protein and triglycerides. Egr-1 over-expression elevated triglyceride levels, which were augmented by ethanol exposure. However, these triglyceride levels did not exceed those in ethanol-exposed cells that had normal Egr-1 expression. Conversely, Egr-1 knockdown by siRNA only partially blocked ethanol-induced triglyceride accumulation and was associated not only with lower Egr-1 expression but also attenuation of SREBP1c and TNF-α mRNAs. Double knockdown of both Egr-1 and SREBP-1c abolished ethanol-elicited steatosis. Collectively, our findings provide important new insights into the temporal regulation by ethanol oxidation of Egr-1 and cellular steatosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-463
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Volume45
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

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Keywords

  • Acetaldehyde
  • Cellular steatosis
  • Cytochrome P450 2E1
  • Oxidant stress
  • Proteasome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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