Loss of c-Met disrupts gene expression program required for G2/M progression during liver regeneration in mice

Valentina M. Factor, Daekwan Seo, Tsuyoshi Ishikawa, Pal Kaposi-Novak, Jens U. Marquardt, Jesper B. Andersen, Elizabeth A. Conner, Snorri S. Thorgeirsson

54 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Previous work has established that HGF/c-Met signaling plays a pivotal role in regulating the onset of S phase following partial hepatectomy (PH). In this study, we used Metfl/fl;Alb-Cre+/- conditional knockout mice to determine the effects of c-Met dysfunction in hepatocytes on kinetics of liver regeneration. Methodology/Principal Finding: The priming events appeared to be intact in Metfl/fl;Alb-Cre+/- livers. Up-regulation of stress response (MAFK, IKBZ, SOCS3) and early growth response (c-Myc, c-Jun, c-Fos, DUSP1 and 6) genes as assessed by RT-qPCR and/ or microarray profiling was unchanged. This was consistent with an early induction of MAPK/Erk and STAT3. However, after a successful completion of the first round of DNA replication, c-Met deficient hepatocytes were blocked in early/mid G2 phase as shown by staining with phosphorylated form of histone H3. Furthermore, loss of c-Met in hepatocytes diminished the subsequent G1/S progression and delayed liver recovery after partial hepatectomy. Upstream signaling pathways involved in the blockage of G2/M transition included lack of persistent Erk1/2 activation and inability to up-regulate the levels of Cdk1, Plk1, Aurora A and B, and Mad2 along with a defective histone 3 phosphorylation and lack of chromatin condensation. Continuous supplementation with EGF in vitro increased proliferation of Metfl/fl;Alb-Cre+/- primary hepatocytes and partially restored expression levels of mitotic cell cycle regulators albeit to a lesser degree as compared to control cultures. Conclusion/Significance: In conclusion, our results assign a novel non-redundant function for HGF/c-Met signaling in regulation of G2/M gene expression program via maintaining a persistent Erk1/2 activation throughout liver regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12739
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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