B Herrera

Complutense University of Madrid, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

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Publications (3)19.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Liver progenitor cells rise as potential critical players in hepatic regeneration but also carcinogenesis. It is therefore mandatory to define the signals controlling their activation and expansion. Recently, by using a novel in vitro model of oval cell lines expressing a mutant tyrosine kinase-inactive form of c-Met we demonstrated that autocrine c-Met signalling plays an essential role in promoting oval cell survival. Here, we investigated the significance of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling in oval cell proliferation and survival, as well as a potential functional crosstalk between the c-Met and the EGFR pathways. We found an autocrine activation of the EGFR-triggered pathway in Met(flx/flx) and Met(-/-) oval cells as judged by constitutive expression of the EGFR ligands, transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-α) and heparin-binding EGF like growth factor (HB-EGF), and activation of EGFR. On the other hand, treatment with AG1478, a specific inhibitor of EGFR, effectively blocked endogenous and EGF-induced proliferation, while increased serum withdrawal and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β)-induced apoptosis. These results suggest that constitutively activated EGFR might promote oval cell proliferation and survival. We found that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) does not transactivate EGFR nor EGF transactivates c-Met. Furthermore, treatment with AG1478 or EGFR gene silencing did not interfere with HGF-mediated activation of target signals, such as protein kinase B (AKT/PKB), and extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK 1/2), nor did it have any effect on HGF-induced proliferative and antiapoptotic activities in Met(flx/flx) cells, showing that HGF does not require EGFR activation to mediate such responses. EGF induced proliferation and survival equally in Met(flx/flx) and Met(-/-) oval cells, proving that EGFR signalling does not depend on c-Met tyrosine kinase activity. Together, our results provide strong evidence that in normal, untransformed oval cells, c-Met and EGFR represent critical molecular players to control proliferation and survival that function independent of one another.
    Cellular signalling 02/2012; 24(2):505-13. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most of the morphologic changes that are observed in apoptotic cells are caused by a set of cysteine proteases (caspases) that are activated during this process. In previous works from our group we found that treatment of rat fetal hepatocytes with transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-beta1) is followed by apoptotic cell death. TGF-beta1 mediates radical oxygen species (ROS) production that precedes bcl-xL down-regulation, loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential, release of cytochrome c, and activation of caspase-3 (Herrera et al., FASEB J 2001;15:741-751). In this work, we have analyzed how TGF-beta1 activates the caspase cascade and whether or not caspase activation precedes the oxidative stress induced by this factor. Our results show that TGF-beta1 activates at least caspase-3, -8, and -9 in rat fetal hepatocytes, which are not required for ROS production, glutathione depletion, bcl-xL down-regulation, and initial cytochrome c release. However, caspase activation mediates cleavage of Bid and Bcl-xL that could originate an amplification loop on the mitochondrial events. An interesting result is that transmembrane potential disruption occurs later than the initial cytochrome c release and is mostly blocked by the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD.fmk, indicating that the decrease in mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Delta(Psi)m) may be a consequence of caspase activity rather than the mechanism by which TGF-beta induces cytochrome c efflux. Finally, although Z-VAD.fmk completely blocks nucleosomal DNA fragmentation, it only delays cell death, which suggests that activation of the apoptotic program by TGF-beta in fetal hepatocytes inevitably leads to death, with or without caspases.
    Hepatology 10/2001; 34(3):548-56. · 12.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously found that transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) induces an increase in radical oxygen species (ROS) production that mediates its apoptotic effects in fetal hepatocytes. In this paper we show that TGF-beta activates p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38MAPK) and ROS may be responsible for this activation. Activation of p38MAPK occurs late, coincident with the maximal production of ROS, it is inhibited by radical scavengers and it is accentuated by the presence of glutathione synthesis inhibitors. However, p38MAPK does not appear to be involved in any of the apoptotic events: loss of Bcl-x(L) levels, cytochrome c release, cleavage of caspase substrates and loss of cell viability.
    FEBS Letters 07/2001; 499(3):225-9. · 3.58 Impact Factor