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Molecular basis of progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis 3. A proteomics study

Title: Molecular basis of progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis 3. A proteomics study

Source: BioFactors 2024, Jan 29. [E-publication]

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Date of publication: January 2024

Publication type: Article

Abstract: Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 3 (PFIC3) is a severe rare liver disease that affects between 1/50,000 and 1/100,000 children. In physiological conditions, bile is produced by the liver and stored in the gallbladder, and then it flows to the small intestine to play its role in fat digestion. To prevent tissue damage, bile acids (BAs) are kept in phospholipid micelles. Mutations in phosphatidyl choline transporter ABCB4 (MDR3) lead to intrahepatic accumulation of free BAs that result in liver damage. PFIC3 onset usually occurs at early ages, progresses rapidly, and the prognosis is poor. Currently, besides the palliative use of ursodeoxycholate, the only available treatment for this disease is liver transplantation, which is really challenging for short-aged patients. To gain insight into the pathogenesis of PFIC3 we have performed an integrated proteomics and phosphoproteomics study in human liver samples to then validate the emerging functional hypotheses in a PFIC3 murine model. We identified 6246 protein groups, 324 proteins among them showing differential expression between control and PFIC3. The phosphoproteomic analysis allowed the identification of 5090 phosphopeptides, from which 215 corresponding to 157 protein groups, were differentially phosphorylated in PFIC3, including MDR3. Regulation of essential cellular processes and structures, such as inflammation, metabolic reprogramming, cytoskeleton and extracellular matrix remodeling, and cell proliferation, were identified as the main drivers of the disease. Our results provide a strong molecular background that significantly contributes to a better understanding of PFIC3 and provides new concepts that might prove useful in the clinical management of patients.

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