The expression patterns of the liver-enriched transcription factors CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) α and β and hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-1 and HNF-4 were studied in liver nodules and hepatocellular carcinomas from male rats treated according to the resistant hepatocyte (RH) model. C/EBPα expression was lower at the transcriptional, mRNA, and protein levels in persistent nodules than in the respective surrounding livers. Expression was further decreased in the tumors. Transcriptional downregulation of C/EBPα gene expression was observed already in very early nodules, isolated 3 wk after partial hepatectomy in the RH model. However, no detectable changes were observed in preneoplastic nodules in the transcription or in steady-state mRNA levels of C/EBPβ, HNF-1, and HNF-4. A slight decrease in C/EBPβ protein and a more pronounced attenuation of HNF-1 and HNF-4 levels was observed in nodules, being 67%, 37%, and 46% of the levels in the corresponding surrounding livers, respectively. In conclusion, differential regulation of several transcription factors that are associated with the maintenance of the differentiated state of the hepatocytes was observed in preneoplastic and neoplastic liver lesions. This could have an impact on the regulation of a wide array of genes during liver carcinogenesis. Furthermore, the attenuation of C/EBPα expression, regarded as a negative growth regulator, could contribute to the proliferative advantage of nodules during liver carcinogenesis.
- Liver carcinogenesis
- Nodular phenotype
- Transcription factors
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
- Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.