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Oncogene. 2007 Aug 16;26(38):5587-95. Epub 2007 Apr 2.

Expression of activation-induced cytidine deaminase in human hepatocytes via NF-kappaB signaling.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.


Activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID) is involved in somatic DNA alterations of the immunoglobulin gene for amplification of immune diversity. The fact that constitutive expression of AID in mice causes tumors in various organs, including lymphoid tissues and lungs, suggests the important role of the aberrant editing activity of AID on various tumor-related genes for carcinogenesis. AID expression, however, is restricted to activated B cells under physiological conditions. We demonstrate here that ectopic AID expression is induced in response to tumor necrosis factor-alpha stimulation in cultured human hepatocytes. The proinflammatory cytokine-mediated expression of AID is achieved by IkappaB kinase-dependent nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB signaling pathways. Hepatitis C virus, one of the leading causes of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), enhanced AID expression via NF-kappaB activation through expression of viral core protein. The aberrant expression of AID in hepatoma-derived cells resulted in accumulation of genetic alterations in the c-myc and pim1 genes, suggesting that inappropriate expression of AID acts as a DNA mutator that enhances the genetic susceptibility to mutagenesis in human hepatocytes. Our current findings indicate that the inappropriate expression of AID is induced by proinflammatory cytokine stimulation and may provide the link between hepatic inflammation and the development of HCC.

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