Comparison of gene expression in hepatocellular carcinoma, liver development, and liver regeneration
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Proliferation of liver cells can be observed in hepatocarcinogenesis, at different stages of liver development, and during liver regeneration after an injury. Does it imply that they share similar molecular mechanisms? Here, the transcriptional profiles of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver development, and liver regeneration were systematically compared as a preliminary attempt to answer this question. From the comparison, we found that advanced HCC mimics early development in terms of deprived normal liver functions and activated cellular proliferation, but advanced HCC and early development differ in expressions of cancer-related genes and their transcriptional controls. HCC and liver regeneration demonstrate different expression patterns as a whole, but regeneration is similar to dysplasia (pre-stage of HCC) in terms of their proximity to the normal state. In summary, of these three important processes, the carcinogenic progress carries the highest variance in expression; HCC pre-stage shares some resemblance with liver regeneration; and advanced HCC stage displays similarity with early development.
KeywordsHepatocellular carcinoma Liver development Liver regeneration Microarray Functional preference Transcriptional regulation
We thank Xueya Zhou for helpful discussions. This work is partially supported by NSFC (30625012, 60721003, and 60905014), Tsinghua University SIST Basic Research Fund, Chinese National Key Program on Basic Research (2006CB910402), Shanghai Commission for Science and Technology (08JC14164), China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (20070420097), and Shanghai Postdoctoral Science Foundation (07R214138).
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