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Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2012 Aug 15;11(4):401-6.

Expression of SOCS3 throughout liver regeneration is not regulated by DNA methylation.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Transplant Engineering and Immunology, Ministry of Health, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.



While suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) plays a crucial role in suppressing dysplasia and tumorigenesis, it also offers a typical instance of DNA methylation in the regulation of gene transcription, since the promoter region of the SOCS3 gene is rich in CpG islands (CGIs). During liver regeneration initiated by partial hepatectomy, SOCS3 acts as a suppressor to balance the acute-phase response and terminate the regeneration. This study aimed to determine whether the variation of SOCS3 expression throughout liver regeneration is also regulated by its DNA methylation.


We established a 70% partial hepatectomy mouse model and the animals were sacrificed at indicated times to assess the SOCS3 expression. We performed bisulfite sequencing PCR and DNA sequencing to investigate the detailed cytosine methylation in the SOCS3 gene.


Within the promoter sequence, 58 CGIs were identified and 30 were found variously methylated before or after operation; however, methylation remained at a very low level. No evidence indicated that the total methylation level or the methylation of any CpG site regularly changed throughout liver regeneration.


DNA methylation or demethylation seems to be a relatively stable modification of cytosine, but not a dynamic and reversible process to regulate gene transcription in daily and acute pathophysiological events.

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