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Carcinogenesis. 2002 Nov;23(11):1933-6.

Stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (Scd1) gene overexpression is associated with genetic predisposition to hepatocarcinogenesis in mice and rats.

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Department of Experimental Oncology, Istituto Nazionale Tumori, Via G. Venezian 1, 20133 Milan, Italy.


The stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (Scd1) gene is involved in the synthesis and regulation of unsaturated fatty acids. Its expression is increased by several treatments/conditions that are associated with hepatocarcinogenesis (peroxisome proliferators, iron overload, dichloroacetic acid). We found that the Scd1 gene is differentially expressed, showing >10-fold higher mRNA levels in the normal liver tissue of C3H/He mice, which are genetically susceptible to hepatocarcinogenesis, than of BALB/c mice, which are resistant. Similarly, Scd1 mRNA expression was approximately 4-fold higher in the normal liver of F344 rats, which are susceptible to hepatocarcinogenesis, than in Brown Norway (BN) rats, which are resistant. The chromosomal location of the Scd1 locus, both in mice and rats, excludes Scd1 candidacy as a hepatocellular tumor-modifier gene, as the Scd1 locus did not show allele-specific effects in a BALB/cxC3H/He intercross or in a BNxF344 backcross and intercross. No Scd1 coding polymorphisms were detected in the mouse and the rat strains showing elevated Scd1 expression. These results suggest that the Scd1 gene represents a downstream target of hepatocellular tumor-modifier loci in two rodent species.

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