Autores: Argemí Ballbé, José María
; Kedia, K.; Gritsenko, M. A.; Clemente-Sanchez, A.; Asghar, A.; Herranz, J. M.; Liu, Z.-X.; Atkinson, S. R.; Smith, R. D.; Norden-Krichmar, T. M.; Day, L. Z.; Stolz, A.; Tayek, J. A.; Bataller, R.; Morgan, T. R. (Autor de correspondencia); Jacobs, J. M. (Autor de correspondencia)
Alcohol-associated hepatitis (AH) is a form of liver failure with high short-term mortality. Recent studies have shown that defective function of hepatocyte nuclear factor 4 alpha (HNF4a) and systemic inflammation are major disease drivers of AH. Plasma biomarkers of hepatocyte function could be useful for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. Herein, an integrative analysis of hepatic RNA sequencing and liquid chromatographyetandem mass spectrometry was performed to identify plasma protein signatures for patients with mild and severe AH. Alcohol-related liver disease cirrhosis, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and healthy subjects were used as comparator groups. Levels of identified proteins primarily involved in hepatocellular function were decreased in patients with AH, which included hepatokines, clotting factors, complement cascade components, and hepatocyte growth activators. A protein signature of AH disease severity was identified, including thrombin, hepatocyte growth factor alpha, clusterin, human serum factor H-related protein, and kallistatin, which exhibited large abundance shifts between severe and nonsevere AH. The combination of thrombin and hepatocyte growth factor alpha discriminated between severe and nonsevere AH with high sensitivity and specificity. These findings were correlated with the liver expression of genes encoding secreted proteins in a similar cohort, finding a highly consistent plasma protein signature reflecting HNF4A and HNF1A functions. This unbiased proteomic-transcriptome analysis identified plasma protein signatures and pathways associated with disease severity, reflecting HNF4A/1A activity useful for diagnostic assessment in AH.