• Dysregulated serum response factor triggers formation of hepatocellular carcinoma.

      Ohrnberger, Stefan; Thavamani, Abhishek; Braeuning, Albert; Lipka, Daniel B; Kirilov, Milen; Geffers, Robert; Authenrieth, Stella E; Römer, Michael; Zell, Andreas; Bonin, Michael; et al. (2015-03)
      The ubiquitously expressed transcriptional regulator serum response factor (SRF) is controlled by both Ras/MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) and Rho/actin signaling pathways, which are frequently activated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We generated SRF-VP16(iHep) mice, which conditionally express constitutively active SRF-VP16 in hepatocytes, thereby controlling subsets of both Ras/MAPK- and Rho/actin-stimulated target genes. All SRF-VP16(iHep) mice develop hyperproliferative liver nodules that progresses to lethal HCC. Some murine (m)HCCs acquire Ctnnb1 mutations equivalent to those in human (h)HCC. The resulting transcript signatures mirror those of a distinct subgroup of hHCCs, with shared activation of oncofetal genes including Igf2, correlating with CpG hypomethylation at the imprinted Igf2/H19 locus.