Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Jul 21;95(15):8847-51.

Somatic mutations of the beta-catenin gene are frequent in mouse and human hepatocellular carcinomas.

Author information

Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale U129, Institut Cochin de Génétique Moléculaire, Université Paris V René Descartes, 24 rue du Faubourg Saint-Jacques, 75014 Paris, France.


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the major primary malignant tumor in the human liver, but the molecular changes leading to liver cell transformation remain largely unknown. The Wnt-beta-catenin pathway is activated in colon cancers and some melanoma cell lines, but has not yet been investigated in HCC. We have examined the status of the beta-catenin gene in different transgenic mouse lines of HCC obtained with the oncogenes c-myc or H-ras. Fifty percent of the hepatic tumors in these transgenic mice had activating somatic mutations within the beta-catenin gene similar to those found in colon cancers and melanomas. These alterations in the beta-catenin gene (point mutations or deletions) lead to a disregulation of the signaling function of beta-catenin and thus to carcinogenesis. We then analyzed human HCCs and found similar mutations in eight of 31 (26%) human liver tumors tested and in HepG2 and HuH6 hepatoma cells. The mutations led to the accumulation of beta-catenin in the nucleus. Thus alterations in the beta-catenin gene frequently are selected for during liver tumorigenesis and suggest that disregulation of the Wnt-beta-catenin pathway is a major event in the development of HCC in humans and mice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center