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The Hepatic Transcriptome In Human Liver Disease

Nicholas A Shackel, Devanshi Seth, Paul S Haber, Mark D Gorrell, Geoffrey W McCaughan

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Abstract The transcriptome is the mRNA transcript pool in a cell, organ or tissue with the liver transcriptome being amongst the most complex of any organ. Functional genomics methodologies are now being widely utilized to study transcriptomes including the hepatic transcriptome. This review outlines commonly used methods of transcriptome analysis, especially gene array analysis, focusing on publications utilizing these methods to understand human liver disease. Additionally, we have outlined the relationship between transcript and protein expressions as well as summarizing what is known about the variability of the transcriptome in non-diseased liver tissue. The approaches covered include gene array analysis, serial analysis of gene expression, subtractive hybridization and differential display. The discussion focuses on primate whole organ studies and in-vitro cell culture systems utilized. It is now clear that there are a vast number research opportunities for transcriptome analysis of human liver disease as we attempt to better understand both non-diseased and disease hepatic mRNA expression. We conclude that hepatic transcriptome analysis has already made significant contributions to the understanding of human liver pathobiology.