Hepatocyte-specific TAK1 deficiency drives RIPK1 kinase-dependent inflammation to promote liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma


Tan ShuixiaORCID,Zhao Jing,Sun Ziyu,Cao Shuangyi,Niu Kongyan,Zhong Yedan,Wang Han,Shi Linyu,Pan Heling,Hu Junhao,Qian Lihui,Liu Nan,Yuan JunyingORCID


Transforming growth factor β-activated kinase1 (TAK1) encoded by the gene MAP3K7 regulates multiple important downstream effectors involved in immune response, cell death, and carcinogenesis. Hepatocyte-specific deletion of TAK1 inTak1ΔHEPmice promotes liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) formation. Here, we report that genetic inactivation of RIPK1 kinase using a kinase dead knockin D138N mutation inTak1ΔHEPmice inhibits the expression of liver tumor biomarkers, liver fibrosis, and HCC formation. Inhibition of RIPK1, however, has no or minimum effect on hepatocyte loss and compensatory proliferation, which are the recognized factors important for liver fibrosis and HCC development. Using single-cell RNA sequencing, we discovered that inhibition of RIPK1 strongly suppresses inflammation induced by hepatocyte-specific loss of TAK1. Activation of RIPK1 promotes the transcription of key proinflammatory cytokines, such as CCL2, and CCR2+macrophage infiltration. Our study demonstrates the role and mechanism of RIPK1 kinase in promoting inflammation, both cell-autonomously and cell-nonautonomously, in the development of liver fibrosis and HCC, independent of cell death, and compensatory proliferation. We suggest the possibility of inhibiting RIPK1 kinase as a therapeutic strategy for reducing liver fibrosis and HCC development by inhibiting inflammation.


Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences



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