Species-specific differences in the expression of the HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes

Lorna W. Harries, James Brown, Anna L. Gloyn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: The HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes are part of an autoregulatory network in mammalian pancreas, liver, kidney and gut. The layout of this network appears to be similar in rodents and humans, but inactivation of HNF1A, HNF1B or HNF4A genes in animal models cause divergent phenotypes to those seen in man. We hypothesised that some differences may arise from variation in the expression profile of alternatively processed isoforms between species.

Methodology/Principal Findings: We measured the expression of the major isoforms of the HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes in human and rodent pancreas, islet, liver and kidney by isoform-specific quantitative real-time PCR and compared their expression by the comparative Ct (??Ct) method. We found major changes in the expression profiles of the HNF genes between humans and rodents. The principal difference lies in the expression of the HNF1A gene, which exists as three isoforms in man, but as a single isoform only in rodents. More subtle changes were to the balance of HNF1B and HNF4A isoforms between species; the repressor isoform HNF1B(C) comprised only 6% in human islets compared with 24–26% in rodents (p = 0.006) whereas HNF4A9 comprised 22% of HNF4A expression in human pancreas but only 11% in rodents (p = 0.001).

Conclusions/Significance: The differences we note in the isoform-specific expression of the human and rodent HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes may impact on the absolute activity of these genes, and therefore on the activity of the pancreatic transcription factor network as a whole. We conclude that alterations to expression of HNF isoforms may underlie some of the phenotypic variation caused by mutations in these genes.
LanguageEnglish
Article numbere7855
Number of pages7
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume4
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2009

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Protein Isoforms
Genes
rodents
Rodentia
genes
Pancreas
pancreas
Liver
kidneys
liver
Kidney
islets of Langerhans
phenotypic variation
Transcriptome
inactivation
quantitative polymerase chain reaction
transcription factors
digestive system
Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
animal models

Bibliographical note

© 2009 Harries et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Cite this

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title = "Species-specific differences in the expression of the HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes",
abstract = "Background: The HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes are part of an autoregulatory network in mammalian pancreas, liver, kidney and gut. The layout of this network appears to be similar in rodents and humans, but inactivation of HNF1A, HNF1B or HNF4A genes in animal models cause divergent phenotypes to those seen in man. We hypothesised that some differences may arise from variation in the expression profile of alternatively processed isoforms between species.Methodology/Principal Findings: We measured the expression of the major isoforms of the HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes in human and rodent pancreas, islet, liver and kidney by isoform-specific quantitative real-time PCR and compared their expression by the comparative Ct (??Ct) method. We found major changes in the expression profiles of the HNF genes between humans and rodents. The principal difference lies in the expression of the HNF1A gene, which exists as three isoforms in man, but as a single isoform only in rodents. More subtle changes were to the balance of HNF1B and HNF4A isoforms between species; the repressor isoform HNF1B(C) comprised only 6{\%} in human islets compared with 24–26{\%} in rodents (p = 0.006) whereas HNF4A9 comprised 22{\%} of HNF4A expression in human pancreas but only 11{\%} in rodents (p = 0.001).Conclusions/Significance: The differences we note in the isoform-specific expression of the human and rodent HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes may impact on the absolute activity of these genes, and therefore on the activity of the pancreatic transcription factor network as a whole. We conclude that alterations to expression of HNF isoforms may underlie some of the phenotypic variation caused by mutations in these genes.",
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Species-specific differences in the expression of the HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes. / Harries, Lorna W.; Brown, James; Gloyn, Anna L.

In: PLoS ONE, Vol. 4, No. 11, e7855, 16.11.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Harries, Lorna W.

AU - Brown, James

AU - Gloyn, Anna L.

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N2 - Background: The HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes are part of an autoregulatory network in mammalian pancreas, liver, kidney and gut. The layout of this network appears to be similar in rodents and humans, but inactivation of HNF1A, HNF1B or HNF4A genes in animal models cause divergent phenotypes to those seen in man. We hypothesised that some differences may arise from variation in the expression profile of alternatively processed isoforms between species.Methodology/Principal Findings: We measured the expression of the major isoforms of the HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes in human and rodent pancreas, islet, liver and kidney by isoform-specific quantitative real-time PCR and compared their expression by the comparative Ct (??Ct) method. We found major changes in the expression profiles of the HNF genes between humans and rodents. The principal difference lies in the expression of the HNF1A gene, which exists as three isoforms in man, but as a single isoform only in rodents. More subtle changes were to the balance of HNF1B and HNF4A isoforms between species; the repressor isoform HNF1B(C) comprised only 6% in human islets compared with 24–26% in rodents (p = 0.006) whereas HNF4A9 comprised 22% of HNF4A expression in human pancreas but only 11% in rodents (p = 0.001).Conclusions/Significance: The differences we note in the isoform-specific expression of the human and rodent HNF1A, HNF1B and HNF4A genes may impact on the absolute activity of these genes, and therefore on the activity of the pancreatic transcription factor network as a whole. We conclude that alterations to expression of HNF isoforms may underlie some of the phenotypic variation caused by mutations in these genes.

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