The CBS/CSE system: A potential therapeutic target in NAFLD?

Sarna, L.K., Siow, Y.L., and Karmin, O.K. (2015). "The CBS/CSE system: A potential therapeutic target in NAFLD?", Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 93(1), pp. 1-11. doi : 10.1139/cjpp-2014-0394  Access to full text

Abstract

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a broad spectrum liver disorder diagnosed in patients without a history of alcohol abuse. NAFLD is growing at alarming rates worldwide. Its pathogenesis is complex and incompletely understood. The cystathionine-β-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine-γ-lyase (CSE) system regulates homocysteine and cysteine metabolism and contributes to endogenous hydrogen sulfide (H2S) biosynthesis. This review summarizes our current understanding of the hepatic CBS/CSE system, and for the first time, positions this system as a potential therapeutic target in NAFLD. As will be discussed, the CBS/CSE system is highly expressed and active in the liver. Its dysregulation, presenting as alterations in circulating homocysteine and (or) H2S levels, has been reported in NAFLD patients and in NAFLD-associated co-morbidities such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Intricate links between the CBS/CSE system and a number of metabolic and stress related molecular mediators have also emerged. Various dysfunctions in the hepatic CBS/CSE system have been reported in animal models representative of each NAFLD spectrum. It is anticipated that a newfound appreciation for the hepatic CBS/CSE system will emerge that will improve our understanding of NAFLD pathogenesis, and give rise to new prospective targets for management of this disorder.

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