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Cancer. 1992 Apr 15;69(8):2091-7.

Expression and growth-promoting effect of adult T-cell leukemia-derived factor. A human thioredoxin homologue in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Institute for Virus Research, Kyoto University, Japan.


Adult T-cell leukemia-derived factor (ADF), originally defined as an interleukin-2 receptor inducer, is a human thioredoxin homologue. ADF is detected in many malignant tissues and has a growth-promoting effect on transformed cells. In this study, ADF expression was examined immunohistochemically in human liver cell lines and liver tissues, and its growth-promoting effect was tested on human hepatoma cells. On three liver cell line--PLC/PRF/5, HepG2, and Chang liver cells--ADF stained positively and also was detected by immunoblotting. ADF had strong staining in the fetal liver (n = 8), although it was faint in the normal adult liver (n = 6). In hepatocellular carcinoma (n = 25), ADF expression generally was enhanced and was very strong in 52% (13 of 25) of the cases, although it was moderate in cases of chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis. ADF augmented the growth of PLC/PRF/5 cells and showed an additive effect with epidermal growth factor. These results indicate possible involvement of ADF in cell activation and growth of hepatocytes, as is the case with lymphocytes.

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