Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 63, Issue 24, pp 2922–2938

Transcriptional control in the mammalian liver: liver development, perinatal repression, and zonal gene regulation

  • B. T. Spear
  • L. Jin
  • S. Ramasamy
  • A. Dobierzewska
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00018-006-6258-5

Cite this article as:
Spear, B.T., Jin, L., Ramasamy, S. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2006) 63: 2922. doi:10.1007/s00018-006-6258-5

Abstract.

Liver function is crucial for maintaining metabolic homeostasis in mammals. Numerous genes must be properly regulated for the liver to develop and perform a variety of activities. Several recent gene-knockout studies in mice have clarified the roles of GATA6, HNF4α, and Foxa1/Foxa2 in early stages of liver formation. After the liver forms, transcriptional changes continue to occur; during the perinatal period, certain genes such as α-fetoprotein and H19 are silenced, others are activated, and position-dependent (or zonal) regulation is established. Zhx2 was recently identified as one factor involved in postnatal repression of α-fetoprotein and other genes. Furthermore, several studies indicate that negative regulation is involved in the zonal control of glutamine synthetase. Finally, exciting new evidence indicates that signaling through the Wnt/β-catenin pathway is also involved in zonal regulation in the adult liver.

Keywords.

Liver developmentZhx2Wnt/β-cateninglutamine synthetasealpha-fetoprotein

Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. T. Spear
    • 1
  • L. Jin
    • 1
  • S. Ramasamy
    • 1
  • A. Dobierzewska
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Molecular GeneticsUniversity of Kentucky College of MedicineLexingtonUSA