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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2007 Dec;22(12):2181-8.

Cloning and expression profile of FLT3 gene during progenitor cell-dependent liver regeneration.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.



The liver has a unique capacity to regenerate upon exposure to viral infections, toxic reactions and cancer formation. Liver regeneration is a complex phenomenon in which several factors participate during its onset. Cellular proliferation is an important component of this process and the factors that regulate this proliferation have a vital role. FLT3, a well-known hematopoietic stem cell and hepatic lineage surface marker, is involved in proliferative events of hematopoietic stem cells. However, its contribution to liver regeneration is not known. Therefore, the aim of this study was to clone and examine the role of FLT3 during liver regeneration in rats.


Partial cDNA of rat homolog of FLT3 gene was cloned from thymus and the tissue specific expression of this gene at mRNA and protein levels was examined by RT-PCR and Western blot. After treating with 2-AAF and performing hepatectomy in rats to induce progenitor-dependent liver regeneration, the mRNA and protein expression profile of FLT3 was investigated by real-time PCR and Western blot during liver regeneration. In addition, cellular localization of FLT3 protein was determined by immunohistochemistry.


The results indicated that rat FLT3 cDNA has high homology with mouse and human FLT3 cDNA. It was also found that FLT3 is expressed in most of the rat tissues and during liver regeneration. In addition, its intracellular localization is altered during the late stages of liver regeneration.


The FLT3 receptor is activated at the late stages of liver regeneration and participates in the proliferation response that is observed during progenitor-dependent liver regeneration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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