ABSTRACT: The Wnt/beta-catenin signaling pathway is activated in many human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC). We tried to identify the genes involved in carcinogenesis and progression of HCC with beta-catenin mutations. We used PCR-based subtractive hybridization to compare gene expression between malignant and benign components of a human HCC occurring in pre-existing adenoma activated for beta-catenin. Two of the genes identified belong to the Regenerating gene (REG) family. They encode the Regenerating islet-derived 3 alpha (REG3A/HIP/PAP/REG-III) and 1 alpha (REG1A) proteins, both involved in liver and pancreatic regeneration and proliferation. Using siRNA directed against beta-catenin, we demonstrated that REG3A is a target of beta-catenin signaling in Huh7 hepatoma cells. The upregulation of REG3A and REG1A expression is significantly correlated to the beta-catenin status in 42 HCC and 28 hepatoblastomas characterized for their beta-catenin status. Thus, we report strong evidence that both genes are downstream targets of the Wnt pathway during liver tumorigenesis.
Oncogene 02/2006; 25(4):599-608. · 6.37 Impact Factor