Genetic factors in the pathogenesis of nonalcoholic fatty liver and steatohepatitis

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Liver fat accumulation generally related to systemic insulin resistance characterizes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which in the presence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can progress towards cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Due to the epidemic of obesity, NAFLD is now the most frequent liver disease in Western countries. Epidemiological, familial, and twin studies provide evidence for a strong genetic component of NAFLD susceptibility. Recently, genome-wide association studies led to the identification of the major inherited determinants of hepatic fat accumulation: patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3) I148M gene and transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2) E167K gene variants, involved in lipid droplets remodelling and very low-density lipoproteins secretion, are the major determinants of interindividual differences in liver steatosis, and susceptibility to progressive NASH. In this review, we aimed to provide an overview of recent insights into the genetics of hepatic fat accumulation and steatohepatitis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number460190
JournalBioMed Research International
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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