Superfund Research Program
Control of Toxin and Obesity Induced Liver Fibrosis by B Cells
Project Leader: Michael Karin
Grant Number: P42ES010337
Funding Period: 2017-2022
- Project Summary
News Items List
NRF2 activation leads to enlarged liver
Paper of the Month - May 2020
An NIEHS-funded study suggested that prolonged activation of a protein nuclear factor called erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) may contribute to liver enlargement and fatty liver diseases. Normally, NRF2 plays an important role in regulating antioxidant defenses. In this study, researchers found that NRF2 also activated a protein called AKT, which is involved in glucose metabolism and other cell processes, and led to persistent production of growth factors associated with liver enlargement.
Caspase-2 enzyme implicated in fatty liver disease
Paper of the Month - November 2018
NIEHS grantees discovered that a protein-cleaving enzyme known as caspase-2 is a major driver of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is the most aggressive form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). They reported that caspase-2 controls the buildup of cholesterol and triglycerides in liver tissue by activating sterol regulatory element binding proteins, the master regulators of fatty tissue formation in the liver.
How carcinogens turn liver cells into cancer cells
Paper of the Month - August 2018
A new study by NIEHS grantees and colleagues explains how DNA damage to liver cells can potentially lead to liver cancer. The researchers looked at CD44 proteins, which are located on the cell surface and are involved in binding with other molecules. They found that CD44 proteins may play a role in overriding the body's natural protective response to DNA damage.
Researchers Pinpoint Molecule Fueling Liver Cancer Development
Research Brief - August 2018
New research out of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center explains how liver cells with DNA damage manage to survive and divide, fueling liver cancer. The study highlights the importance of a family of molecules called CD44 proteins, which are located on the surface of cells.
Distinguished Lecture Highlights Mechanisms of Liver Cancer
SRP News Page - June 2018
In a May 15 seminar at NIEHS, Michael Karin, Ph.D., detailed the sequence of molecular changes in the liver that eventually lead to liver cancer. Karin, a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology and Pathology at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, is part of the UCSD Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center.
Distinguished Lecture highlights mechanisms of liver cancer
Environmental Factor - June 2018
NIEHS Distinguished Lecturer Michael Karin, Ph.D., began his presentation by saying the war on cancer has been successful- except when it comes to liver cancer. According to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen a significant reduction in mortality from organ-specific cancers in the past 30 years. Nonetheless, the nation s incidence of liver cancer tripled during the same time, with a three percent increase each year. Karin wants to know why liver cancer is the outlier. Could what Americans eat be responsible?
Chronic Inflammation Suppresses Immune Cells that Fight Liver Cancer
Research Brief - February 2018
Researchers at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) showed that chronic liver inflammation can promote cancer by suppressing one of the body's natural mechanisms to fight cancer development. The study, funded in part by the Superfund Research Program (SRP), explains the success of some types of cancer immunotherapy and suggests novel targets for new therapies.