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1.  Novel hepatic microRNAs upregulated in human nonalcoholic fatty liver disease 
Physiological Reports  2016;4(1):e12661.
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) control gene expression by reducing mRNA stability and translation. We aimed to identify alterations in human liver miRNA expression/function in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Subjects with the highest (median liver fat 30%, n = 15) and lowest (0%, n = 15) liver fat content were selected from >100 obese patients for miRNA profiling of liver biopsies on microarrays carrying probes for 1438 human miRNAs (a cross‐sectional study). Target mRNAs and pathways were predicted for the miRNAs most significantly upregulated in NAFLD, their cell‐type‐specific expression was investigated by quantitative PCR (qPCR), and the transcriptome of immortalized human hepatocytes (IHH) transfected with the miRNA with the highest number of predicted targets, miR‐576‐5p, was studied. The screen revealed 42 miRNAs up‐ and two downregulated in the NAFLD as compared to non‐NAFLD liver. The miRNAs differing most significantly between the groups, miR‐103a‐2*, miR‐106b, miR‐576‐5p, miRPlus‐I137*, miR‐892a, miR‐1282, miR‐3663‐5p, and miR‐3924, were all upregulated in NAFLD liver. Target pathways predicted for these miRNAs included ones involved in cancer, metabolic regulation, insulin signaling, and inflammation. Consistent transcriptome changes were observed in IHH transfected with miR‐576‐5p, and western analysis revealed a marked reduction of the RAC1 protein belonging to several miR‐576‐5p target pathways. To conclude, we identified 44 miRNAs differentially expressed in NAFLD versus non‐NAFLD liver, 42 of these being novel in the context of NAFLD. The study demonstrates that by applying a novel study set‐up and a broad‐coverage array platform one can reveal a wealth of previously undiscovered miRNA dysregulation in metabolic disease.
PMCID: PMC4760405  PMID: 26733244
Hepatocyte; immortalized human hepatocytes; liver biopsy; microarray; microRNA; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
2.  Comparison of Dorsocervical With Abdominal Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue in Patients With and Without Antiretroviral Therapy–Associated Lipodystrophy 
Diabetes  2011;60(7):1894-1900.
Combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) is associated with lipodystrophy, i.e., loss of subcutaneous adipose tissue in the abdomen, limbs, and face and its accumulation intra-abdominally. No fat is lost dorsocervically and it can even accumulate in this region (buffalo hump). It is unknown how preserved dorsocervical fat differs from abdominal subcutaneous fat in HIV-1–infected cART-treated patients with (cART+LD+) and without (cART+LD−) lipodystrophy.
We used histology, microarray, PCR, and magnetic resonance imaging to compare dorsocervical and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue in cART+LD+ (n = 21) and cART+LD− (n = 11).
Albeit dorsocervical adipose tissue in cART+LD+ seems spared from lipoatrophy, its mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA; copies/cell) content was significantly lower (by 62%) than that of the corresponding tissue in cART+LD−. Expression of CD68 mRNA, a marker of macrophages, and numerous inflammatory genes in microarray were significantly lower in dorsocervical versus abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue. Genes with the greatest difference in expression between the two depots were those involved in regulation of transcription and regionalization (homeobox genes), irrespective of lipodystrophy status. There was negligible mRNA expression of uncoupling protein 1, a gene characteristic of brown adipose tissue, in either depot.
Because mtDNA is depleted even in the nonatrophic dorsocervical adipose tissue, it is unlikely that the cause of lipoatrophy is loss of mtDNA. Dorsocervical adipose tissue is less inflamed than lipoatrophic adipose tissue. It does not resemble brown adipose tissue. The greatest difference in gene expression between dorsocervical and abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue is in expression of homeobox genes.
PMCID: PMC3121420  PMID: 21602514
3.  OSBP-Related Protein 8 (ORP8) Regulates Plasma and Liver Tissue Lipid Levels and Interacts with the Nucleoporin Nup62 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(6):e21078.
We earlier identified OSBP-related protein 8 (ORP8) as an endoplasmic reticulum oxysterol-binding protein implicated in cellular lipid homeostasis. We now investigated its action in hepatic cells in vivo and in vitro. Adenoviral overexpression of ORP8 in mouse liver induced a decrease of cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides in serum (−34%, −26%, −37%, respectively) and liver tissue (−40%, −12%, −24%), coinciding with reduction of nuclear (n)SREBP-1 and -2 and mRNA levels of their target genes. Consistently, excess ORP8 reduced nSREBPs in HuH7 cells, and ORP8 overexpression or silencing by RNA interference moderately suppressed or induced the expression of SREBP-1 and SREBP-2 target genes, respectively. In accordance, cholesterol biosynthesis was reduced by ORP8 overexpression and enhanced by ORP8 silencing in [3H]acetate pulse-labeling experiments. ORP8, previously shown to bind 25-hydroxycholesterol, was now shown to bind also cholesterol in vitro. Yeast two-hybrid, bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC), and co-immunoprecipitation analyses revealed the nuclear pore component Nup62 as an interaction partner of ORP8. Co-localization of ORP8 and Nup62 at the nuclear envelope was demonstrated by BiFC and confocal immunofluorescence microscopy. Furthermore, the impact of overexpressed ORP8 on nSREBPs and their target mRNAs was inhibited in cells depleted of Nup62. Our results reveal that ORP8 has the capacity to modulate lipid homeostasis and SREBP activity, probably through an indirect mechanism, and provide clues of an entirely new mode of ORP action.
PMCID: PMC3115989  PMID: 21698267
4.  OSBPL10, a novel candidate gene for high triglyceride trait in dyslipidemic Finnish subjects, regulates cellular lipid metabolism 
Analysis of variants in three genes encoding oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) homologues (OSBPL2, OSBPL9, OSBPL10) in Finnish families with familial low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (N = 426) or familial combined hyperlipidemia (N = 684) revealed suggestive linkage of OSBPL10 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with extreme end high triglyceride (TG; >90th percentile) trait. Prompted by this initial finding, we carried out association analysis in a metabolic syndrome subcohort (Genmets) of Health2000 examination survey (N = 2,138), revealing association of multiple OSBPL10 SNPs with high serum TG levels (>95th percentile). To investigate whether OSBPL10 could be the gene underlying the observed linkage and association, we carried out functional experiments in the human hepatoma cell line Huh7. Silencing of OSBPL10 increased the incorporation of [3H]acetate into cholesterol and both [3H]acetate and [3H]oleate into triglycerides and enhanced the accumulation of secreted apolipoprotein B100 in growth medium, suggesting that the encoded protein ORP10 suppresses hepatic lipogenesis and very-low-density lipoprotein production. ORP10 was shown to associate dynamically with microtubules, consistent with its involvement in intracellular transport or organelle positioning. The data introduces OSBPL10 as a gene whose variation may contribute to high triglyceride levels in dyslipidemic Finnish subjects and provides evidence for ORP10 as a regulator of cellular lipid metabolism.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00109-009-0490-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2707950  PMID: 19554302
Cholesterol; High-density lipoprotein; Microtubule; Oxysterol-binding protein; Single-nucleotide polymorphism; Triglyceride

Results 1-4 (4)