Background: Integrins are transmembrane mechanosensitive proteins that negatively contribute to the pathogenesis of different types of chronic liver disease and can activate focal adhesion kinase (FAK).
Objectives: This study aimed to determine the hepatic integrin β1 and FAK mRNA as well as the transcriptional coactivator with PDZ-binding motif (TAZ) protein expressions in cirrhotic patients and simple steatosis.
Methods: In this case–control study, liver tissues were collected from 30 cirrhotic patients with various etiologies (i.e., nonalcoholic steatohepatitis-, primary sclerosing cholangitis-, alcoholic-, autoimmune hepatitis [AIH]- and hepatitis B virus [HBV]/hepatitis C virus [HCV]-related cirrhosis [six per group]), liver samples with simple steatosis (n=6), and control liver tissues (n=9).
Results: Integrin β1 gene expression was significantly up-regulated in all cirrhotic groups compared to control group (P<0.05), with the exception of AIH cirrhosis. However, hepatic FAK gene expression and TAZ protein level in the cirrhotic groups were not significantly different than those in the control group. Furthermore, hepatic integrin β1 and FAK gene expressions as well as TAZ protein level in simple steatosis were significantly lower than those in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) cirrhosis and control (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Integrin β1 was up-regulated in cirrhotic liver tissues. In addition, FAK, integrin β1, and TAZ were concordantly down-regulated in simple steatosis, and may have been involve in the steatosis development.