Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas

Histone demethylase retinoblastoma binding protein 2 regulates the expression of α-smooth muscle actin and vimentin in cirrhotic livers.

PMID 24068189


Liver cirrhosis is one of the most common diseases of Chinese patients. Herein, we report the high expression of a newly identified histone 3 lysine 4 demethylase, retinoblastoma binding protein 2 (RBP2), and its role in liver cirrhosis in humans. The siRNA knockdown of RBP2 expression in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) reduced levels of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and vimentin and decreased the proliferation of HSCs; and overexpression of RBP2 increased α-SMA and vimentin levels. Treatment with transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) upregulated the expression of RBP2, α-SMA, and vimentin, and the siRNA knockdown of RBP2 expression attenuated TGF-β-mediated upregulation of α-SMA and vimentin expression and HSC proliferation. Furthermore, RBP2 was highly expressed in cirrhotic rat livers. Therefore, RBP2 may participate in the pathogenesis of liver cirrhosis by regulating the expression of α-SMA and vimentin. RBP2 may be a useful marker for the diagnosis and treatment of liver cirrhosis.