Molecular Biology of the Liver

  • N. Fausto

Abstract

Because of its physiologic importance, the predominance of a single cell type, its size, and its relative accessibility, the liver has become a focal point for studies of gene regulation. These studies have not only enhanced our knowledge about mechanisms of gene expression in general but also provided major insights on questions regarding normal and abnormal liver development, function, and growth. Major areas of research that heavily rely on molecular biology techniques include the analysis of transcriptional factors in developing and adult liver, studies on proto-oncogenes, growth factors and other growth-associated genes, the investigation of coordinated gene expression in the acute phase response, the expression of extracellular matrix genes in liver fibrosis, and the analysis of the structure and regulation of individual genes that may regulate hepatic function or structure. A more recent area of research, which should eventually lead to clinical applications, involves the replacement or inactivation of hepatic genes in vivo. This line of work became possible due to the successful development of methods to transfer genes into cultured liver cells.

Keywords

Albumin Fractionation Leucine Stein Aspergillus 

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1992

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  • N. Fausto

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