Mistranslation Drives Alterations in Protein Levels and the Effects of a Synonymous Variant at the Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 Locus
Ali Bayoumi, Asmaa Elsayed, Shuanglin Han, Salvatore Petta, Leon A. Adams, Rocio Aller, Anis Khan, Carmelo García-Monzón, María Teresa Arias-Loste, Luca Miele, Olivier Latchoumanin, Shafi Alenizi, Rocio Gallego-Durán, Janett Fischer, Thomas Berg, Antonio Craxì, Mayada Metwally, Liang Qiao, Christopher Liddle, Hannele Yki-Järvinen, Elisabetta Bugianesi, Manuel Romero-Gomez, Jacob George, Mohammed Eslam
Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a liver-derived hormone with pleiotropic beneficial effects on metabolism. Paradoxically, FGF21 levels are elevated in metabolic diseases. Interventions that restore metabolic homeostasis reduce FGF21. Whether abnormalities in FGF21 secretion or resistance in peripheral tissues is the initiating factor in altering FGF21 levels and function in humans is unknown. A genetic approach is used to help resolve this paradox. The authors demonstrate that the primary event in dysmetabolic phenotypes is the elevation of FGF21 secretion. The latter is regulated by translational reprogramming in a genotype- and context-dependent manner. To relate the findings to tissues outcomes, the minor (A) allele of rs838133 is shown to be associated with increased hepatic inflammation in patients with metabolic associated fatty liver disease. The results here highlight a dominant role for translation of the FGF21 protein to explain variations in blood levels that is at least partially inherited. These results provide a framework for translational reprogramming of FGF21 to treat metabolic diseases.