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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Dec 1;1494(3):242-7.

Identification of candidate growth-regulating genes that are overexpressed in late gestation fetal liver in the rat.

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Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University, 593 Eddy Street, Providence, RI 02903, USA.


We have shown previously that hepatocyte proliferation in the late gestation fetal rat is mediated by growth factor-independent mechanisms that are distinct from the signaling pathways that promote proliferation of adult rat hepatocytes. In the present studies, we identified six candidate growth-regulating genes that are overexpressed in fetal rat liver (embryonic day 19, 2 days pre-term) relative to adult rat liver using suppressive subtractive hybridization. These included the following: Grb10, a growth factor receptor binding protein; eps15, a growth factor receptor substrate; nuc2+, a retinoblastoma protein binding protein; cdc25B, a cell cycle tyrosine phosphatase; the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor PPAR alpha; and a deoxyuridine triphosphatase that functions as a PPAR alpha binding partner. In every case, the ontogeny of the expression of these genes declined postnatally in a manner consistent with the transition from a fetal to an adult hepatocyte phenotype. None were found to be cell cycle-dependent, in that they did not show expression that followed perinatal changes in hepatocyte cell cycle activity. Based on our identification of these genes and previous work characterizing their role in growth regulation, we conclude that they may contribute to the mitogenic signaling phenotype of fetal rat hepatocytes.

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