The impact of endotrophin on the progression of chronic liver disease

Min Kim, Changhu Lee, Dae Yun Seo, Hyojung Lee, Jay D. Horton, Jiyoung Park, Philipp E. Scherer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease and can lead to multiple complications, including non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The fibrotic liver is characterized by the pathological accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Type VI collagen alpha3 (Col6a3) is a biomarker of hepatic fibrosis, and its cleaved form, endotrophin (ETP), plays a critical role in adipose tissue dysfunction, insulin resistance, and breast cancer development. Here, we studied the effects of the Col6a3-derived peptide ETP on the progression of chronic liver diseases, such as NASH and liver cancer. We used a doxycycline (Dox)-inducible liver-specific ETP-overexpressing mouse model on a NAFLD-prone (liver-specific SREBP1a transgenic) background. For this, we evaluated the consequences of local ETP expression in the liver and its effect on hepatic inflammation, fibrosis, and insulin resistance. Accumulation of ETP in the liver induced hepatic inflammation and the development of fibrosis with associated insulin resistance. Surprisingly, ETP overexpression also led to the emergence of liver cancer within 10 months in the SREBP1a transgenic background. Our data revealed that ETP can act as a “second hit” during the progression of NAFLD and can play an important role in the development of NASH and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). These observations firmly link elevated levels of ETP to chronic liver disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1766-1776
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental and Molecular Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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