Doctor of Philosophy
Integrative Life Sciences
CHARACTERIZATION OF STAPHYLOCOCCAL NUCLEASE AND TUDOR DOMAIN CONTAINING PROTEIN 1 (SND1) AS A MOLECULAR TARGET IN HEPATOCELLULAR CARCINOMA AND NON-ALCOHOLIC STEATOHEPATITIS
Nidhi Jariwala, PhD
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Integrative Life Sciences
Virginia Commonwealth University, 2017
Devanand Sarkar, M.B.B.S., PhD.
Associate Professor, Department of Human and Molecular Genetics
Virginia Commonwealth University
SND1, a subunit of the miRNA regulatory complex RISC, has been implicated as an oncogene in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Oncoprotein SND1 regulates gene expression at a post-transcriptional level in multiple cancers including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In the present study, we characterize oncogenic functions of SND1 in HCC employing a novel transgenic mouse model (Alb/SND1) and present SND1 as a potential molecular target in HCC management. We show that Alb/SND1 mice develop spontaneous HCC with partial penetrance and exhibit more highly aggressive HCC induced by chemical carcinogenesis. Livers from Alb/SND1 mice exhibit a relative increase in inflammatory markers and spheroid-generating tumor initiating cells (TiC). Mechanistic investigations defined roles for Akt and NF-κB signaling pathways in promoting TiC formation in Alb/SND1 mice. Intravenous administration of the selective SND1 inhibitor 3', 5'-deoxythymidine bisphosphate (pdTp) inhibited tumor formation without effects on body weight or liver function. We conclude that SND1 drives pro-oncogenic transcriptomic and proteomic changes in hepatocyte resulting in aggressive HCC. SND1 specific RNA interactome is identified with RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing (RIPSeq) approach. With an adjusted p value of2-fold enrichment over control, 282 mRNAs were identified to significantly associate with SND1 protein. We focused on the tumor suppressor Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase non-receptor type 23 (PTPN23) because its regulation by SND1 and its role in HCC are not known. In current study, we confirm that SND1 post-transcriptionally downregulates PTPN23. Pursuing functional studies with tetracycline inducible overexpression system, we validate that PTPN23 inhibits tyrosine kinase signaling, proliferation, epithelial to mesenchymal transition, migration, invasion and in vivo tumorigenesis.
Alb/SND1 mice also manifest steatosis and fibrosis at one year of age. Coupled with a pro-inflammatory hepatic phenotype, we conclude that Alb/SND1 livers present NASH. High fat diet causes severe NASH and aggressive NASH induced HCC in Alb/SND1 mice. Serum and hepatic lipid profiling shows that hepatocyte specific SND1 overexpression associate with elevated triglyceride and cholesterol LDL levels. Contrarily, hepatocyte specific deletion of SND1 (SND1ΔHEP) in vivo, significantly protects against age dependent steatosis. Association of SND1 in NASH pathology is novel discovery and we present preliminary evidence confirming role of SND1 in promoting NASH.
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Available for download on Sunday, December 04, 2022