Journal Article

Identification of the common regulators for hepatocellular carcinoma induced by hepatitis B virus X antigen in a mouse model

Jeng-Wei Lu, Yu Hsia, Wan-Yu Yang, Yu-I Lin, Chao-Chin Li, Ting-Fen Tsai, Ko-Wei Chang, Grace S. Shieh, Shih-Feng Tsai, Horng-Dar Wang and Chiou-Hwa Yuh

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 33, issue 1, pages 209-219
Published in print January 2012 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online October 2011 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgr224
Identification of the common regulators for hepatocellular carcinoma induced by hepatitis B virus X antigen in a mouse model

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Hepatitis B virus X antigen plays an important role in the development of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The key regulators controlling the temporal downstream gene expression for HCC progression remains unknown. In this study, we took advantage of systems biology approach and analyzed the microarray data of the HBx transgenic mouse as a screening process to identify the differentially expressed genes and applied the software Pathway Studio to identify potential pathways and regulators involved in HCC. Using subnetwork enrichment analysis, we identified five common regulator genes: EDN1, BMP7, BMP4, SPIB and SRC. Upregulation of the common regulators was validated in the other independent HBx transgenic mouse lines. Furthermore, we verified the correlation of their RNA expression levels by using the human HCC samples, and their protein levels by using the human liver disease tissue arrays. EDN1, bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) 4 and BMP7 were upregulated in cirrhosis, BMP4, BMP7 and SRC were further upregulated in hepatocellular or cholangiocellular carcinoma samples. The trend of increasing expression of the common regulators correlates well with the progression of human liver cancer. Overexpression of the common regulators increases the cell viability, promotes migration and invasiveness and enhances the colony formation ability in Hep3B cells. Our approach allows us to identify the critical genes in hepatocarcinogenesis in an HBx-induced mouse model. The validation of the gene expressions in the liver cancer of human patients and their cellular function assays suggests that the identified common regulators may serve as useful molecular targets for the early-stage diagnosis or therapy for HCC.

Journal Article.  8112 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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