A type IV Autotaxin inhibitor ameliorates acuteliver injury and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

Booijink, Richell and Salgado-Polo, Fernando and Jamieson, Craig and Perrakis, Anastassis and Bansal, Ruchi (2022) A type IV Autotaxin inhibitor ameliorates acuteliver injury and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. EMBO Molecular Medicine, 14 (9). e16333. ISSN 1757-4684 (https://doi.org/10.15252/emmm.202216333)

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The lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) signaling axis is an important but rather underexplored pathway in liver disease. LPA is predominantly produced by Autotaxin (ATX) that has gained significant attention with an impressive number of ATX inhibitors (type I-IV)reported. Here, we evaluated the therapeutic potential of a (ye tunexplored) type IV inhibitor, Cpd17, in liver injury. We first con-firmed the involvement of the ATX-LPA signaling axis in human and murine diseased livers. Then, we evaluated the effects ofCpd17, in comparison with the classic type I inhibitor PF8380,in vitro, where Cpd17 showed higher efficacy. Thereafter, we characterized the mechanism-of-action of both inhibitors and found that Cpd17 was more potent in inhibiting RhoA-mediated cytoskeletal remodeling, and phosphorylation of MAPK/ERK andAKT/PKB. Finally, the therapeutic potential of Cpd17was investigated in CCl4-induced acute liver injury and diet-induced nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, demonstrating an excellent potential of Cpd17 in reducing liver injury in both disease models in vivo. We conclude that ATX inhibition, by type IV inhibitor in particular, has an excellent potential for clinical application in liver diseases.