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Novel molecular approach for prevention and treatment of liver fibrosis

Posted by ncordes on 13 May 2008 at 08:25 GMT

The paper by Buck and Chojkier touches the worldwide life-threatening disease of liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis. A lack of adequate treatment options results in a high mortality from this illness. Focusing on the MAPK signaling cascade, Buck and Chojkier identified the phosphorylation of C/EBPbeta on Threonine 217 by RSK to be critical for hepatic stellate cell proliferation and production of extracellular matrix as essential step in liver fibrosis development. By the means of diverse human and mouse models, the authors showed that treatment of mice with a cell permanent RSK-inhibitory peptide enforced apoptosis in hepatic stellate cells and repressed hepatotoxin CCl4 induced liver fibrosis. This well conducted and detailed study suggests a highly promising novel molecular approach for the prevention and treatment of liver fibrosis.