The peribiliary inflammation of cholangiopathy affects the physiological properties of biliary epithelial cells (cholangiocyte), including bicarbonate-rich ductular secretion. We revealed the upregulation of annexin A2 (ANXA2) in cholangiocytes in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) by a proteomics approach and evaluated its physiological significance. Global protein expression profiles of a normal human cholangiocyte line (H69) in response to interferon-γ (IFNγ) were obtained by two-dimensional electrophoresis followed by MALDI-TOF-MS. Histological expression patterns of the identified molecules in PBC liver were confirmed by immunostaining. H69 cells stably transfected with doxycyclin-inducible ANXA2 were subjected to physiological evaluation. Recovery of the intracellular pH after acute alkalinization was measured consecutively by a pH indicator with a specific inhibitor of anion exchanger (AE), 4,4′-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2′-disulfonic acid (DIDS). Protein kinase-C (PKC) activation was measured by PepTag Assay and immunoblotting. Twenty spots that included ANXA2 were identified as IFNγ-responsive molecules. Cholangiocytes of PBC liver were decorated by the unique membranous overexpression of ANXA2. Apical ANXA2 of small ducts of PBC was directly correlated with the clinical cholestatic markers and transaminases. Controlled induction of ANXA2 resulted in significant increase of the DIDS-inhibitory fraction of AE activity of H69, which was accompanied by modulation of PKC activity. We, therefore, identified ANXA2 as an IFNγ-inducible gene in cholangiocytes that could serve as a potential histological marker of inflammatory cholangiopathy, including PBC. We conclude that inducible ANXA2 expression in cholangiocytes may play a compensatory role for the impaired AE activity of cholangiocytes in PBC in terms of bicarbonate-rich ductular secretion and bile formation through modulation of the PKC activity.
- Human cholangiocyte
- Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)
- Protein kinase-C (PKC)
- Tet-On sysem