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Genes Dev. 2000 Jan 15;14(2):152-7.

An essential role in liver development for transcription factor XBP-1.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts 02115 USA.


XBP-1 is a CREB/ATF family transcription factor highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinomas. Here we report that XBP-1 is essential for liver growth. Mice lacking XBP-1 displayed hypoplastic fetal livers, whose reduced hematopoiesis resulted in death from anemia. Nevertheless, XBP-1-deficient hematopoietic progenitors had no cell-autonomous defect in differentiation. Rather, hepatocyte development itself was severely impaired by two measures: diminished growth rate and prominent apoptosis. Specific target genes of XBP-1 in the liver were identified as alphaFP, which may be a regulator of hepatocyte growth, and three acute phase protein family members. Therefore, XBP-1 is a transcription factor essential for hepatocyte growth.

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