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J Genet. 2011 Dec;90(3):435-42.

Eight paths of ERK1/2 signalling pathway regulating hepatocyte proliferation in rat liver regeneration.

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College of Life Sciences, Henan Normal University, Xinxiang 453007, Henan Province, People's Republic of China.


Although it is known that hormones, growth factors and integrin promote hepatocyte proliferation in liver regeneration (LR) through ERK1/2 signalling pathway, reports about regulating processes of its intracellular paths in hepatocytes of LR are limited. This study aims at exploring which paths of ERK1/2 signalling pathway participate in the regulation of rat LR, especially in hepatocyte proliferation, and how they do so. In all, 14 paths and 165 genes are known to be involved in ERK1/2 signalling pathway. Of them, 161 genes are included in Rat Genome 230 2.0 Array. This array was used to detect expression changes of genes related to ERK1/2 signalling pathway in isolated hepatocytes of rat LR, showing that 60 genes were related to hepatocytes of LR. In addition, bioinformatics and systems biology methods were used to analyse the roles of 14 above paths in regenerating hepatocytes. We found that three paths, RTK→SHC→GRB2/SOS→RAS→RAF, IntegrinΒ→FAK→RAC→PAK→RAF and GΒγ→PI3KΒγ→RAC→PAK→RAF, promoted the G1 phase progression of hepatocytes by activating ERK1/2. A further four paths, Gq→PLCΒ→PKC→SRC/PYK2→GRB2/SOS→RAS→RAF, RTK→PLCγ→PKC→SRC/PYK2→GRB2/SOS→RAS→RAF, IntegrinΒ→FAK/SRC→GRB2/SOS→RAS→RAF and IntegrinΒ→FAK→RAC→PAK→RAF, advanced the cell progression of S phase and G(2)/M checkpoint by activating ERK1/2, and so did PP1/2→Mek1/2 by decreasing the negative influence on ERK1/2. At the late phase of LR, Gαs→AC→EPAC→Rap1→Raf blocked hepatocyte proliferation by decreasing the activity of ERK1/2 and so did PP1/2→Mek1/2. In summary, 60 genes and 8 paths of ERK1/2 signalling pathway regulated hepatocyte proliferation in rat LR.

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