Dr. Alex Soto-Gutierrez, PLRC member and Associate Professor of Pathology, and his group publish a manuscript in Journal of Personalized Medicine, entitled, “Is HSD17B13 Genetic Variant a Protector for Liver Dysfunction? Future Perspective as a Potential Therapeutic Target.” Dr. Alina Ostrowska, PLRC member and Director of the Human Liver Disease Lab, also contributed to this study.
Motomura T, Amirneni S, Diaz-Aragon R, Faccioli LAP, Malizio MR, Coard MC, KocasKilicarslan ZN, Frau C, Haep N, Ostrowska A, Florentino RM, Soto-Gutierrez A. Is HSD17B13 Genetic Variant a Protector for Liver Dysfunction? Future Perspective as a Potential Therapeutic Target. J Pers Med. 2021 Jun 30;11(7):619. doi: 10.3390/jpm11070619. PMID: 34208839
As diet and lifestyle have changed, fatty liver disease (FLD) has become more and more prevalent. Many genetic risk factors, such as variants of PNPLA3, TM6SF2, GCKR, and MBOAT7, have previously been uncovered via genome wide association studies (GWAS) to be associated with FLD. In 2018, a genetic variant (rs72613567, T > TA) of hydroxysteroid 17-β dehydrogenase family 13 (HSD17B13) was first associated with a lower risk of developing alcoholic liver disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in minor allele carriers. Other HSD17B13 variants were also later linked with either lower inflammation scores among NAFLD patients or protection against NAFLD (rs6834314, A > G and rs9992651, G > A) respectively. HSD17B13 is a lipid droplet-associated protein, but its function is still ambiguous. Compared to the other genetic variants that increase risk for FLD, HSD17B13 variants serve a protective role, making this gene a potential therapeutic target. However, the mechanism by which these variants reduce the risk of developing FLD is still unclear. Because studies in cell lines and mouse models have produced conflicting results, human liver tissue modeling using induced pluripotent stem cells may be the best way to move forward and solve this mystery.