Identification of a novel cell cycle regulated gene, HURP, overexpressed in human hepatocellular carcinoma.

PMID 12527899


An analytic strategy was followed to identify putative regulatory genes during the development of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This strategy employed a bioinformatics analysis that used a database search to identify genes, which are differentially expressed in human HCC and are also under cell cycle regulation. A novel cell cycle regulated gene (HURP) that is overexpressed in HCC was identified. Full-length cDNAs encoding the human and mouse HURP genes were isolated. They share 72 and 61% identity at the nucleotide level and amino-acid level, respectively. Endogenous levels of HURP mRNA were found to be tightly regulated during cell cycle progression as illustrated by its elevated expression in the G(2)/M phase of synchronized HeLa cells and in regenerating mouse liver after partial hepatectomy. Immunofluorescence studies revealed that hepatoma up-regulated protein (HURP) localizes to the spindle poles during mitosis. Overexpression of HURP in 293T cells resulted in an enhanced cell growth at low serum levels and at polyhema-based, anchorage-independent growth assay. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that HURP is a potential novel cell cycle regulator that may play a role in the carcinogenesis of human cancer cells.