Molecular Medicine

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 357–366 | Cite as

Emerging Role of High-Mobility Group Box 1 (HMGB1) in Liver Diseases

  • Ruochan Chen
  • Wen Hou
  • Qiuhong Zhang
  • Rui Kang
  • Xue-Gong Fan
  • Daolin Tang
Review Article


Damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecules are essential for the initiation of innate inflammatory responses to infection and injury. The prototypic DAMP molecule, high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), is an abundant architectural chromosomal protein that has location-specific biological functions: within the nucleus as a DNA chaperone, within the cytosol to sustain autophagy and outside the cell as a DAMP molecule. Recent research indicates that aberrant activation of HMGB1 signaling can promote the onset of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, raising interest in the development of therapeutic strategies to control their function. The importance of HMGB1 activation in various forms of liver disease in relation to liver damage, steatosis, inflammation, fibrosis, tumorigenesis and regeneration is discussed in this review.



We apologize to the researchers who were not referenced because of space limitations. We thank Christine Heiner (Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh) for her critical reading of the manuscript. This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (grant R01CA160417 to D Tang) and the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (grant 81272253 to X-G Fan).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Department of Infectious Diseases and State Key Lab of Viral Hepatitis, Xiangya HospitalCentral South UniversityChangsha, HunanChina
  3. 3.Hillman Cancer CenterPittsburghUSA

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