The lung resistance-related protein (LRP) plays an important role in chemoresistance of tumor cells probably by altering nuclear-cytoplasmic transport processes. We analyzed the association between LRP expression and hepatocarcinogenesis in humans and rats by RT-PCR, immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. LRP was found in hepatocytes and bile epithelia of normal human and rat liver showing distinct interindividual variations. In human tissues, the LRP expression levels of dysplastic liver nodules, hepatocellular adenomas and carcinomas were highly variable including decreased but also distinctly increased staining intensities. The mean expression levels, however, were comparable to the surrounding. Considerable levels of LRP mRNA and protein were also found in human hepatoma cell lines. To study LRP expression from the beginning of hepatocarcinogenesis onwards, rats were subjected to a tumor initiation/promotion protocol leading to preneoplastic hepatocytes present as single cells or multicellular clones, followed by adenoma and carcinoma. All of the (pre)neoplastic rat liver lesions expressed, comparable to the surrounding tissue, considerable amounts of LRP. We conclude, that LRP might be one mechanism involved i
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