Albumin-AFP Gene Family Regulation in Fetal and Adult Liver

Grants and Contracts Details


Mammalian liver development requires the sequential activation of genes in a highly ordered manner. Once activated, levels of gene expression in the liver must continually be responsive to extracellular signals in order for organisms to maintain physiological homeostatis. We have been studying the mouse alphafetoprotein (AFP) gene as a model of liver-specific gene regulation. These studies have focused on the AFP enhancer region. More recently, we have become increasingly interested in regulation of all genes in the albumin-AFP gene family. One main goal of this proposal is to investigate the role of the AFP enhancers in the control of this gene family in the liver. Since AFP is activated in the fetal liver, shut-off at birth, and reactivated in models of liver damage and liver cancer, these studies should help elucidate the basis of transcriptional changes that occur during liver damage and hepatocarcinogenesis. We are also interested iin studying the process of zonal regulation in the adult liver. Zonal gene expression is a mechanism that allows different subpopulations of hepatocyte in the liver to carry out distinct metabolic activities. The zonal gene regulation can be disrupted in damaged liver and in neoplastic liver cells. Since zonal gene regulation is essential for the liver to carry out its normal function, it is important to understand the basis for this control in the normal and diseased liver.
Effective start/end date9/1/076/30/12


  • National Institute Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney: $1,180,338.00


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