Profiling of genes differentially expressed between fetal liver and postnatal liver using high-density oligonucleotide DNA array

Int J Mol Med. 2003 Jun;11(6):713-21.


The liver is an essential organ in humans not only for the production and storage of energy but also for detoxification of chemical compounds, but knowledge about changes in the gene expression profile in the human liver during the prenatal and postnatal periods is limited. Profiling of genes differentially expressed between the fetal liver (FL) and the postnatal liver (PNL) is one of the methods to investigate candidates affecting the difference in biological characteristics between FL and PNL. To identify genes differentially expressed between FL and PNL (childhood and adult liver), we analyzed the gene expression profiles across 9 FL and 14 PNL samples using a high-density oligonucleotide DNA array. Using Mann-Whitney U test followed by k-nearest-neighbors (supervised learning method) and hierarchical clustering (unsupervised learning method) algorithms, we found 33 genes clearly discriminating between the FL group and PNL group. The functional classification of the 33 genes identified was related to several kinds of biological pathways, regulating the cell cycle (PCNA, CDC7L1, CCND3, YWHA1, PKMYT1), DNA replication and repair (RFC4, RECQ2, PCNA, NAP1L1), cell growth (IGF2, IGFBP2, PRSS11), hormonal signals (AR, SRD5A1, NR1I3), and cellular metabolism (E2-EPF, WWP1, CYP2C9, CYP2E1, CYP2A6, CYP2A7, CYP2A13, CYP4F2, CYP3A4, DDT). The results presented herein provide evidence of a differential expression profile of genes regulating the cell cycle, DNA replication and repair, cell growth, regulation of hormonal signals, and cellular metabolism, between FL and PNL in humans. The 33 genes identified in this study are suggested to be useful markers clearly discriminating between FL and PNL using the gene expression profile.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Fetus / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling / methods
  • Gene Expression*
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods