Many of the promising applications of the microarray technology are pertinent to identifying abnormalities in gene expression that contribute to malignant progression. We developed a bioinformatics tool to identify differentially expressed genes in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This involved the construction of a liver EST database (http://lestdb.nhri.org.tw) and in silico verification of differentially expressed genes with a human hepatoma microarray database. The stringency of the search was reinforced with a statistical analysis. A novel imprinted gene, paternally expressed 10(PEG10) was identified as having an elevated level of expression in the majority of the HCC samples and was also induced to express during G2/M phase of regenerating mouse liver. Ectopic expression of PEG10 in 293T cells affects cell cycle progression. PEG10 is distributed in the cytosol and associates with the nuclear membrane. This is the first time that an imprinted gene has been found to reexpress in both human HCC and in the regenerating mouse liver. This result indicates that the induction of the paternally imprinted gene may play an important role during liver regeneration or carcinogenesis of the human hepatocyte. Understanding the molecular basis of the abnormal imprinting of PEG10 will shed new light on the process that leads to liver disease.
Copyright 2003 National Science Council, ROC and S. Karger AG, Basel