Protein inhibitor of activated STAT 4 (PIAS4) regulates pro-inflammatory transcription in hepatocytes by repressing SIRT1

Oncotarget. 2016 Jul 12;7(28):42892-42903. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.9864.


Excessive nutrition promotes the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), characterized by the accumulation of pro-inflammation mediators in the liver. In the present study we investigated the regulation of pro-inflammatory transcription in hepatocytes by protein inhibitor of activated STAT 4 (PIAS4) in this process and the underlying mechanisms. We report that expression of the class III deacetylase SIRT1 was down-regulated in the livers of NASH mice accompanied by a simultaneous increase in the expression and binding activity of PIAS4. Exposure to high glucose stimulated the expression PIAS4 in cultured hepatocytes paralleling SIRT1 repression. Estrogen, a known NASH-protective hormone, ameliorated SIRT1 trans-repression by targeting PIAS4. Over-expression of PIAS4 enhanced, while PIAS4 knockdown alleviated, repression of SIRT1 transcription by high glucose. Lentiviral delivery of short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting PIAS4 attenuated hepatic inflammation in NASH mice by restoring SIRT1 expression. Mechanistically, PIAS4 promoted NF-κB-mediated pro-inflammatory transcription in a SIRT1 dependent manner. In conclusion, our study indicates that PIAS4 mediated SIRT1 repression in response to nutrient surplus contributes to the pathogenesis of NASH. Therefore, targeting PIAS4 might provide novel therapeutic strategies in the intervention of NASH.

Keywords: NF-κB; PIAS4; Pathology Section; SIRT1; inflammation; transcriptional regulation.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / drug effects
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / genetics
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism
  • Protein Inhibitors of Activated STAT / genetics
  • Protein Inhibitors of Activated STAT / metabolism*
  • RNA Interference
  • Sirtuin 1 / genetics
  • Sirtuin 1 / metabolism*


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • NF-kappa B
  • Protein Inhibitors of Activated STAT
  • Sirtuin 1
  • Glucose