Involvement of the tyrosine phosphatase early gene of liver regeneration (PRL-1) in cell cycle and in liver regeneration and fibrosis effect of halofuginone

Yulia Gnainsky, Gadi Spira, Melia Paizi, Raffael Bruck, Arnon Nagler, Olga Genina, Rebbeca Taub, Orna Halevy, Mark Pines*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tyrosine phosphatase PRL-1 is one of the immediate-early genes up-regulated during liver regeneration and is apparently involved in cell proliferation. Previously, we have demonstrated that halofuginone, an inhibitor of collagen type I synthesis, prevents liver fibrosis and improves cirrhotic liver regeneration. In this study, we evaluated the effect of halofuginone on PRL-1 expression, its cellular localization in vitro and during liver regeneration, and fibrosis progression in vivo. In culture, halofuginone increased PRL-1 expression in primary rat hepatocytes and in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines, the former being more sensitive to halofuginone. The halofuginone-dependent increase in PRL-1 gene expression was correlated with an increase in the transcription factor early growth response-1 (Egr-1) and inversely correlated with the inhibition of cell proliferation. Halofuginone arrested HepG2 and Huh7 cell lines at the G1 phase, whereas Hep3B cells were arrested at G2/M, probably because of a reduction in the synthesis of cyclins D1 and B1 in all HCC cells and increased cyclin A in Hep3B cells. Halofuginone also affected the PRL-1 subcellular localization that was cell-cycle-dependent. In addition, halofuginone augmented PRL-1 expression in the remnant liver after partial hepatectomy and in chemically induced fibrosis in rats; this was accompanied by increased expression of insulin-like growth factor binding protein 1 (IGFBP-1), another immediate-early gene of regeneration. The regulation of the expression of the early genes of regeneration such as PRL-1 and IGFBP-1 is thus part of the mode of action of halofuginone and results in the prevention of liver fibrosis and improved cirrhotic liver regeneration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-394
Number of pages10
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Agricultural Research Organization462–04
Israel Science Foundation537/01


    • Collagen
    • Egr-1
    • Fibrosis
    • Human
    • PRL-2
    • Rat
    • p53


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