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J Clin Invest. 2014 Jul;124(7):2909-20. doi: 10.1172/JCI74382. Epub 2014 May 27.

Splicing regulator SLU7 is essential for maintaining liver homeostasis.

Abstract

A precise equilibrium between cellular differentiation and proliferation is fundamental for tissue homeostasis. Maintaining this balance is particularly important for the liver, a highly differentiated organ with systemic metabolic functions that is endowed with unparalleled regenerative potential. Carcinogenesis in the liver develops as the result of hepatocellular de-differentiation and uncontrolled proliferation. Here, we identified SLU7, which encodes a pre-mRNA splicing regulator that is inhibited in hepatocarcinoma, as a pivotal gene for hepatocellular homeostasis. SLU7 knockdown in human liver cells and mouse liver resulted in profound changes in pre-mRNA splicing and gene expression, leading to impaired glucose and lipid metabolism, refractoriness to key metabolic hormones, and reversion to a fetal-like gene expression pattern. Additionally, loss of SLU7 also increased hepatocellular proliferation and induced a switch to a tumor-like glycolytic phenotype. Slu7 governed the splicing and/or expression of multiple genes essential for hepatocellular differentiation, including serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 3 (Srsf3) and hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (Hnf4α), and was critical for cAMP-regulated gene transcription. Together, out data indicate that SLU7 is central regulator of hepatocyte identity and quiescence.

PMID:
24865429
PMCID:
PMC4071377
DOI:
10.1172/JCI74382
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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