Cisd2 protects the liver from oxidative stress and ameliorates western diet-induced nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

Yi Long Huang, Zhao Qing Shen, Chen Hua Huang, Yuan Chi Teng, Chao Hsiung Lin*, Ting Fen Tsai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its more severe form, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are the most common chronic liver diseases worldwide. However, drugs to treat NAFLD and NASH are an unmet clinical need. This study sought to provide evidence that Cisd2 is a molecular target for the development of treatments targeting NAFLD and NASH. Several discoveries are pinpointed. The first is that Cisd2 dosage modulates the severity of Western diet-induced (WD-induced) NAFLD. Specifically, Cisd2 haploinsufficiency accelerates NAFLD development and exacerbates progression toward NASH. Conversely, an enhanced Cisd2 copy number attenuates liver pathogenesis. Secondly, when a WD is fed to mice, transcriptomic analysis reveals that the major alterations affecting biological processes are related to inflammation, lipid metabolism, and DNA replication/repair. Thirdly, among these differentially expressed genes, the most significant changes involve Nrf2-mediated oxidative stress, cholesterol biosynthesis, and fatty acid metabolism. Finally, increased Cisd2 expression protects the liver from oxidative stress and reduces the occurrence of mitochondrial DNA deletions. Taken together, our mouse model reveals that Cisd2 plays a crucial role in protecting the liver from WD-induced damages. The development of therapeutic agents that effectively enhance Cisd2 expression is one potential approach to the treatment of WD-induced fatty liver diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number559
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Cisd2
  • Hepatocyte-specific knockout
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)
  • Transcriptomics
  • Western diet


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