Lay Summaries - Volume 4 Issue 4

Lay Summary:  Fibrosis represents the process of scarring occurring in patients with chronic liver diseases. This process depends on production of scar tissue components by a specific cell type, named hepatic stellate cells, and is regulated by interaction with other cells. Herein, we show that activation of MerTK, a receptor present in a population of macrophages, causes the production of factors that act on hepatic stellate cells, increasing their ability to produce scar tissue.
Lay Summary:  We investigated a genetic liver disease, progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC), which causes severe liver disease in newborns and infants due to a lack of gene called TJP2. By using cutting-edge stem cell technology and genome editing methods, we established a novel disease modeling system in cell culture experiments. Our experiments demonstrated that the lack of TJP2 induced abnormal cell polarity and disrupted bile acid transport. These findings will lead to the subsequent investigation to further understand disease mechanisms and develop an effective treatment.
Lay Summary:  At the cost of a high postoperative morbidity, the long-term results of APOLT for small-for-size grafts are good. Standardisation of the procedure and of portal modulation remain needed.
Lay Summary:  In this study, we identified microRNA 141-3p as an osmosensitive miRNA, which inhibits proliferation during liver cell swelling. Upregulation of microRNA 141-3p, controlled by Src-, Erk-, and p38-MAPK signalling, results in decreased mRNA levels of various genes involved in metabolic processes, macromolecular biosynthesis, and cell cycle progression.
Lay Summary:  Fresh frozen liver biopsies from patients infected with HBV were subjected to targeted long-read RNA and DNA sequencing. Long-read RNA sequencing captures entire HBV transcripts in a single read, allowing for resolution of overlapping transcripts from the HBV genome. This resolution allowed us to quantify the burden of transcription from integrations vs. cccDNA origin in individual patients. Patients who were HBeAg-positive had a significantly larger fraction of the HBV transcriptome originating from cccDNA compared with those who were HBeAg-negative. Long-read DNA sequencing captured entire integrated HBV sequences including multiple kilobases of flanking host sequence within single reads. This resolution allowed us to describe integration events flanked by 2 different host chromosomes, indicating that integrated HBV DNA are associated with inter-chromosomal translocations. This may lead to significant transcriptional dysregulation and drive progression to HCC.