1. Department of Liver Surgery, Ren Ji Hospital, School of Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China;
2. School of Biomedical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China.
Osteopontin (OPN), a multifunctional protein, is involved in numerous pathological conditions including inflammation, immunity, angiogenesis, fibrogenesis and carcinogenesis in various tissues. Extensive studies have elucidated the critical role of OPN in cell signaling such as regulation of cell proliferation, migration, inflammation, fibrosis and tumor progression. In the liver, OPN interacts with integrins, CD44, vimentin and MyD88 signaling, thereby induces infiltration, migration, invasion and metastasis of cells. OPN is highlighted as a chemoattractant for macrophages and neutrophils during injury in inflammatory liver diseases. OPN activates hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) to exert an enhancer in fibrogenesis. The role of OPN in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has also generated significant interests, especially with regards to its role as a diagnostic and prognostic factor. Interestingly, OPN acts an opposing role in liver repair under different pathological conditions. This review summarizes the current understanding of OPN in liver diseases. Further understanding of the pathophysiological role of OPN in cellular interactions and molecular mechanisms associated with hepatic inflammation, fibrosis and cancer may contribute to the development of novel strategies for clinical diagnosis, monitoring and therapy of liver diseases.
Keywords: Osteopontin, liver injury, inflammation, fibrosis, hepatocellular carcinoma.