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World J Gastroenterol. 2006 Aug 21;12(31):4951-8.

Insights on augmenter of liver regeneration cloning and function.

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Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, University of Athens, Medical School, GR11527, Athens, Greece.


Hepatic stimulator substance (HSS) has been referred to as a liver-specific but species non-specific growth factor. Gradient purification and sequence analysis of HSS protein indicated that it contained the augmenter of liver regeneration (ALR), also known as hepatopoietin (HPO). ALR, acting as a hepatotrophic growth factor, specifically stimulated proliferation of cultured hepatocytes as well as hepatoma cells in vitro, promoted liver regeneration and recovery of damaged hepatocytes and rescued acute hepatic failure in vivo. ALR belongs to the new Erv1/Alr protein family, members of which are found in lower and higher eukaryotes from yeast to man and even in some double-stranded DNA viruses. The present review article focuses on the molecular biology of ALR, examining the ALR gene and its expression from yeast to man and the biological function of ALR protein. ALR protein seems to be non-liver-specific as was previously believed, increasing the necessity to extend research on mammalian ALR protein in different tissues, organs and developmental stages in conditions of normal and abnormal cellular growth.

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