Objective: To understand the molecular mechanism and find out the responsible genes for liver cancer by exploring the regulation of gene expression during hepatocarcinogenesis in tree shrew induced by aflatoxin B1 (AFB1).
Methods: The tissues from tree shrew of different stages during the pathogenesis and development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver cancer tissue, para-cancerous tissues, pre-cancerous liver tissues, liver tissues of the same stage from normal controls and the liver tissues taken before AFB1-treatment were analyzed for gene expression by cDNA array.
Results: Four patterns of gene expression were observed during AFB1-induced hepatocarcinogenesis. They were: genes up-regulated in HCC tissue and para-cancerous tissue, especially in HCC tissues; genes with similar expressing level in both HCC tissue and para-cancerous tissue, but higher than that in pre-cancerous tissue; genes down-regulated in HCC tissue; genes up-regulated before HCC appeared but down-regulated after HCC appeared.
Conclusion: Dynamic observation of gene expression will be beneficial to elucidate the mechanisms of AFB1- induced hepatocarcinogenesis and locate the responsible genes.