Distinct and sequential upregulation of genes regulating cell growth and cell cycle progression during hepatic ischemia-reperfusion injury

Sharon Barone, Tomohisa Okaya, Steve Rudich, Snezana Petrovic, Kathy Tenrani, Zhaohui Wang, Kamyar Zahedi, Robert A. Casero, Alex B. Lentsch, Manoocher Soleimani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) in liver and other organs is manifested as an injury phase followed by recovery and resolution. Control of cell growth and proliferation is essential for recovery from the injury. We examined the expression of three related regulators of cell cycle progression in liver IRI: spermidine/spermine N-acetyltransferase (SSAT), p21 (a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor), and stathmin. Mice were subjected to hepatic IRI, and liver tissues were harvested at timed intervals. The expression of SSAT, the rate-limiting enzyme in the polyamine catabolic pathway, had increased fivefold 6 h after IRI and correlated with increased putrescine levels in the liver, consistent with increased SSAT enzymatic activity in IRI. The expression of p21, which is transactivated by p53, was undetectable in sham-operated animals but was heavily induced at 12 and 24 h of reperfusion and declined to undetectable baseline levels at 72 h of reperfusion. The interaction of the polyamine pathway with the p53-p21 pathway was shown in vitro, where activation of SSAT with polyamine analog or the addition of putrescine to cultured hepatocytes induced the expression of p53 and p21 and decreased cell viability. The expression of stathmin, which is under negative transcriptional regulation by p21 and controls cell proliferation and progression through mitosis, remained undetectable at 6, 12, and 24 h of reperfusion and was progressively and heavily induced at 48 and 72 h of reperfusion. Double-immunofluorescence labeling with antibodies against stathmin and PCNA, a marker of cell proliferation, demonstrated colocalization of stathmin and PCNA at 48 and 72 h of reperfusion in hepatocytes, indicating the initiation of cell proliferation. The distinct and sequential upregulation of SSAT, p21, and stathmin, along with biochemical activation of the polyamine catabolic pathway in IRI in vivo and the demonstration of p53-p21 upregulation by SSAT and putrescine in vitro, points to the important role of regulators of cell growth and cell cycle progression in the pathophysiology and/or recovery in liver IRI. The data further suggest that SSAT may play a role in the initiation of injury, whereas p21 and stathmin may be involved in the resolution and recovery after liver IRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)C826-C835
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology
Issue number4 58-4
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Heme oxygenase-1
  • Liver failure
  • Polyamines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cell Biology


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