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Open Access A Review of the Scaffold Protein Menin and its Role in Hepatobiliary Pathology

Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1) is a familial cancer syndrome with neuroendocrine tumorigenesis of the parathyroid glands, pituitary gland, and pancreatic islet cells. The MEN1 gene codes for the canonical tumor suppressor protein, menin. Its protein structure has recently been crystallized, and it has been investigated in a multitude of other tissues. In this review, we summarize recent advancements in understanding the structure of the menin protein and its function as a scaffold protein in histone modification and epigenetic gene regulation. Furthermore, we explore its role in hepatobiliary autoimmune diseases, cancers, and metabolic diseases. In particular, we discuss how menin expression and function are regulated by extracellular signaling factors and nuclear receptor activation in various hepatic cell types. How the many signaling pathways and tissue types affect menin’s diverse functions is not fully understood. We show that small-molecule inhibitors affecting menin function can shed light on menin’s broad role in pathophysiology and elucidate distinct menin-dependent processes. This review reveals menin’s often dichotomous function through analysis of its role in multiple disease processes and could potentially lead to novel small-molecule therapies in the treatment of cholangiocarcinoma or biliary autoimmune diseases.

Keywords: Biliary epithelium; Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA); Fibrosis; Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC); Histone deacetylase; Immunology; JunD; Metabolic disease; Mixed lineage leukemia (MLL); Pancreas; Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine, Temple, TX, USA

Publication date: July 7, 2017

This article was made available online on April 28, 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "A Review of the Scaffold Protein Menin and its Role in Hepatobiliary Pathology".

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  • Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research will publish articles in all aspects of hepatology. Hepatology, as a research discipline, has seen unprecedented growth especially in the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hepatic health and disease, which continues to have a major impact on understanding liver development, stem cells, carcinogenesis, tissue engineering, injury, repair, regeneration, immunology, metabolism, fibrosis, and transplantation. Continued research and improved understanding in these areas will have a meaningful impact on liver disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. The existing journal Gene Expression has expanded its focus to become Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research to meet this growing demand. In its revised and expanded scope, the journal will publish high-impact original articles, reviews, short but complete articles, and special articles (editorials, commentaries, opinions) on all aspects of hepatology, making it a unique and invaluable resource for readers interested in this field. The expanded team, led by an Editor-in-Chief who is uniquely qualified and a renowned expert, along with a dynamic and functional editorial board, is determined to make this a premier journal in the field of hepatology.

    From Volume 16, Gene Expression The Journal of Liver Research is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND license.

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