Browsing by Author "Herrera González, Blanca"
Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
Results Per Page
PublicationA Signaling Crosstalk between BMP9 and HGF/c-Met Regulates Mouse Adult Liver Progenitor Cell Survival(MDPI, 2020-03-19) Addante, Annalisa; Roncero Romero, Cesáreo; Lazcanoiturburu, Nerea; Méndez, Rebeca; Almalé del Barrio, Laura; García Álvaro, María; ten Dijke, Peter; Fabregat, Isabel; Herrera González, Blanca; Sánchez Muñoz, AránzazuDuring chronic liver disease, hepatic progenitor cells (HPC, oval cells in rodents) become activated, proliferate, and differentiate into cholangiocytes and/or hepatocytes contributing to the final outcome of the regenerative process in a context-dependent fashion. Here, we analyze the crosstalk between the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/c-Met signaling axis, key for liver regeneration, and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)9, a BMP family ligand that has emerged as a critical regulator of liver pathology. Our results show that HGF/c-Met signaling blocks BMP9-mediated apoptotic cell death, while it potentiates small mothers against decapentaplegic (SMAD)1 signaling triggered by BMP9 in oval cells. Interestingly, HGF-induced overactivation of SMAD1, -5, -8 requires the upregulation of TGF-β type receptor activin receptor-like kinase (ALK)1, and both ALK1 and SMAD1 are required for the counteracting effect of HGF on BMP9 apoptotic activity. On the other hand, we also prove that BMP9 triggers the activation of p38MAPK in oval cells, which drives BMP9-apoptotic cell death. Therefore, our data support a model in which BMP9 and HGF/c-Met signaling axes establish a signaling crosstalk via ALK1 that modulates the balance between the two pathways with opposing activities, SMAD1 (pro-survival) and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (p38MAPK; pro-apoptotic), which determines oval cell fate. These data help delineate the complex signaling network established during chronic liver injury and its impact on the oval cell regenerative response. PublicationBMP Signalling at the Crossroad of Liver Fibrosis and Regeneration(MDPI, 2017-12-23) Herrera González, Blanca; Addante, Annalisa; Sánchez Muñoz, AránzazuBone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) belong to the Transforming Growth Factor-β (TGF-β) family. Initially identified due to their ability to induce bone formation, they are now known to have multiple functions in a variety of tissues, being critical not only during development for tissue morphogenesis and organogenesis but also during adult tissue homeostasis. This review focus on the liver as a target tissue for BMPs actions, devoting most efforts to summarize our knowledge on their recently recognized and/or emerging roles on regulation of the liver regenerative response to various insults, either acute or chronic and their effects on development and progression of liver fibrosis in different pathological conditions. In an attempt to provide the basis for guiding research efforts in this field both the more solid and more controversial areas of research were highlighted. PublicationBMP9-Induced Survival Effect in Liver Tumor Cells Requires p38MAPK Activation(MDPI, 2015-08-28) García Álvaro, María; Addante, Annalisa; Roncero Romero, Cesáreo; Fernández Mier, Margarita; Fabregat, Isabel; Sánchez Muñoz, Aránzazu; Herrera González, BlancaThe study of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) role in tumorigenic processes, and specifically in the liver, has gathered importance in the last few years. Previous studies have shown that BMP9 is overexpressed in about 40% of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. In vitro data have also shown evidence that BMP9 has a pro-tumorigenic action, not only by inducing epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) and migration, but also by promoting proliferation and survival in liver cancer cells. However, the precise mechanisms driving these effects have not yet been established. In the present work, we deepened our studies into the intracellular mechanisms implicated in the BMP9 proliferative and pro-survival effect on liver tumor cells. In HepG2 cells, BMP9 induces both Smad and non-Smad signaling cascades, specifically PI3K/AKT and p38MAPK. However, only the p38MAPK pathway contributes to the BMP9 growth-promoting effect on these cells. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we demonstrate that p38MAPK activation, although dispensable for the BMP9 proliferative activity, is required for the BMP9 protective effect on serum withdrawal-induced apoptosis. These findings contribute to a better understanding of the signaling pathways involved in the BMP9 pro-tumorigenic role in liver tumor cells. PublicationHGF/c-Met signaling promotes liver progenitor cell migration and invasion by an epithelial-mesenchymal transition-independent, phosphatidyl inositol-3 kinase-dependent pathway in an in vitro model(Elsevier, 2015-07-21) Suárez Causado, Amileth; Caballero Díaz, D.; Bertrán, E.; Roncero Romero, César; Addante, Annalisa; García Álvaro, M.; Fernández García de Castro, M.; Herrera González, Blanca; Porras Gallo, Almudena; Fabregat, I.; Sánchez Muñoz, AránzazuOval cells constitute an interesting hepatic cell population. They contribute to sustain liver regeneration during chronic liver damage, but in doing this they can be target of malignant conversion and become tumor-initiating cells and drive hepatocarcinogenesis. The molecular mechanisms beneath either their pro-regenerative or pro-tumorigenic potential are still poorly understood. In this study, we have investigated the role of the HGF/c-Met pathway in regulation of oval cell migratory and invasive properties. Our results show that HGF induces c-Met-dependent oval cell migration both in normal culture conditions and after in vitro wounding. HGF-triggered migration involves Factin cytoskeleton reorganization, which is also evidenced by activation of Rac1. Furthermore, HGF causes ZO-1 translocation from cell-cell contact sites to cytoplasm and its concomitant activation by phosphorylation. However, no loss of expression of cell-cell adhesion proteins, including E-cadherin, ZO-1 and Occludin-1, is observed. Additionally, migration does not lead to cell dispersal but to a characteristic organized pattern in rows, in turn associated with Golgi compaction, providing strong evidence of a morphogenic collective migration. Besides migration, HGF increases oval cell invasion through extracellular matrix, process that requires PI3K activation and is at least partly mediated by expression and activation of metalloproteases. Altogether, our findings provide novel insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating the essential role of HGF/c-Met signaling during oval cell-mediated mouse liver regeneration. PublicationPotential Roles of Bone Morphogenetic Protein (BMP)-9 in Human Liver Diseases(MDPI, 2014-03-25) Herrera González, Blanca; Dooley, Steven; Breitkopf-Heinlein, KatjaBone morphogenetic proteins (BMP-2 to BMP-15) belong to the Transforming Growth Factor (TGF)-β superfamily and, besides their well-documented roles during embryogenesis and bone formation, some of them have recently been described to be involved in the pathogenesis of different organs, including the liver. The role of BMPs in liver damage responses including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development has only begun to be addressed and strong evidence supports the concept of a pro-tumorigenic role of BMP signaling in HCC cells. BMP-9 (also termed Growth and Differentiation Factor (GDF)-2) represents the most recently discovered member of the BMP family. We have previously demonstrated that in HCC patient samples BMP-9 expression was positively associated with the tumor seize (“T stage”) and that it enhanced cell migration and induced epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in HCC cells in vitro. In another study we recently found that BMP-9 promotes growth in HCC cells, but not in non-transformed hepatocytes. Published as well as unpublished results obtained with primary hepatocytes support the concept of a dual function of BMP-9 in the liver: while in primary, non-malignant cells BMP-9 stabilizes the epithelial phenotype and inhibits proliferation, in HCC cells it induces cell growth and the acquisition of a migratory phenotype. In this review article we summarize current knowledge about BMPs in liver diseases, with special focus on the role of BMP-9 in HCC development and progression, that may provide new clues for a better understanding of the contribution of BMP-signaling to chronic liver diseases.