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Mol Cell Biol. Jun 1990; 10(6): 3185–3193.
PMCID: PMC360683

c-myc, c-fos, and c-jun regulation in the regenerating livers of normal and H-2K/c-myc transgenic mice.


We investigated the mechanisms of regulation of c-myc, c-fos, and c-jun at the early stages of liver regeneration in mice. We show that the transient increase in steady-state levels of c-myc mRNA at the start of liver regeneration is most probably regulated by posttranscriptional mechanisms. Although there was a marked increase in c-myc transcriptional initiation shortly after partial hepatectomy, a block in elongation prevented the completion of most transcripts. To gain further information on the mechanism of regulation of c-myc expression during liver regeneration, we used transgenic mice harboring the human c-myc gene driven by the H-2K promoter. In these animals, the murine c-myc responded to the growth stimulus generated by partial hepatectomy, whereas the expression of the transgene was constitutive and did not change in the regenerating liver. However, the mRNA from both genes increased markedly after cycloheximide injection, suggesting that the regulation of c-myc mRNA abundance in the regenerating liver differs from that occurring after protein synthesis inhibition. Furthermore, we show that in normal mice c-fos and c-jun mRNA levels and transcriptional rates increase within 30 min after partial hepatectomy. c-fos transcriptional elongation was restricted in nongrowing liver, but the block was partially relieved in the regenerating liver. Nevertheless, for both c-fos and c-jun, changes in steady-state mRNA detected after partial hepatectomy were much greater than the transcriptional increase. In the regenerating liver of H-2K/c-myc mice, c-fos and c-jun expression was diminished, whereas mouse c-myc expression was enhanced in comparison with that in nontransgenic animals.

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