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Hepatology. 2009 Oct;50(4):1121-9. doi: 10.1002/hep.23098.

Overexpression of the far upstream element binding protein 1 in hepatocellular carcinoma is required for tumor growth.

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Chemotherapeutisches Forschungsinstitut Georg-Speyer-Haus, Frankfurt, Germany.


We identified the far upstream element binding protein 1 (FBP1), an activator of transcription of the proto-oncogene c-myc, in a functional yeast survival screen for tumor-related antiapoptotic proteins and demonstrated strong overexpression of FBP1 in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Knockdown of the protein in HCC cells resulted in increased sensitivity to apoptotic stimuli, reduced cell proliferation, and impaired tumor formation in a mouse xenograft transplantation model. Interestingly, analysis of gene regulation in these cells revealed that c-myc levels were not influenced by FBP1 in HCC cells. Instead, we identified the cell cycle inhibitor p21 as a direct target gene repressed by FBP1, and in addition, expression levels of the proapoptotic genes tumor necrosis factor alpha, tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand, Noxa, and Bik were elevated in the absence of FBP1.


Our data establish FBP1 as an important oncoprotein overexpressed in HCC that induces tumor propagation through direct or indirect repression of cell cycle inhibitors and proapoptotic target genes.

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