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Mol Biol Rep. 2011 Feb;38(2):1137-44. doi: 10.1007/s11033-010-0211-2. Epub 2010 Jun 23.

The effect of oncoprotein v-erbA on thyroid hormone-regulated genes in hepatocytes and their potential role in hepatocellular carcinoma.

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Department of Medicine, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, MS 39216, USA.


Mutant forms of thyroid hormone receptor (TR) with dominant negative activity are frequently found in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Interestingly, the v-erbA oncogene, known to exert a dominant-negative effect on the expression of thyroid hormone (T3)-responsive genes, led to the development of HCC in a transgenic mouse model. Thus it is possible that the oncogenic activity of v-erbA in hepatocytes may be mediated by its dominant negative activity on T3-responsive genes. Microarray analysis was used to identify genes differentially expressed in murine hepatocytes in culture (AML12 cells) stably transfected with v-erbA and exposed to T3. The Affymetrix GeneChip Mouse Genome 430 2.0 array consisted of over 39,000 transcripts representing well-known genes. We have identified twenty T3-responsive genes that are negatively regulated by v-erbA at 3 h, and eighteen genes at 24 h, such as follistatin, activin βC, thrombomodulin, Six1, Rasgrp3 and Ndrg2, as well as genes that are regulated by v-erbA only, such as angiopoietin 1 and Igfr2. We have identified T3 responsive genes that are dysregulated by v-erbA. These genes are known to be involved in carcinogenesis. Our studies may provide insight into the potential role of mutant forms of TR in the pathogenesis of HCC.

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