Open Access Research article

Discovering multiple transcripts of human hepatocytes using massively parallel signature sequencing (MPSS)

Jian Huang1, Pei Hao23, Yun-Li Zhang1, Fu-Xing Deng1, Qing Deng1, Yi Hong5, Xiao-Wo Wang6, Yun Wang1, Ting-Ting Li6, Xue-Gong Zhang6, Yi-Xue Li24, Peng-Yuan Yang1*, Hong-Yang Wang5* and Ze-Guang Han1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Chemistry of Fudan University & Shanghai-Ministry Key Laboratory of Disease and Health Genomics, Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai, 351 Guo Shou-Jing Road, Shanghai 201203, China

2 SCBIT-Inforsense Joint Lab, Shanghai Center for Bioinformation Technology, 100 Qinzhou Road, Shanghai 200235, China

3 School of Life Science, Fudan University, 220 Handan Road, Shanghai 200433, China

4 Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 320 Yue Yang Road, Shanghai 200031, China

5 International Co-operation Laboratory on Signal Transduction, Eastern Hepatobiliary Surgery Institute, the Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200438, China

6 MOE Key Laboratory of Bioinformatics, Department of Automation, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

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BMC Genomics 2007, 8:207  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-207

Published: 2 July 2007



The liver is the largest human internal organ – it is composed of multiple cell types and plays a vital role in fulfilling the body's metabolic needs and maintaining homeostasis. Of these cell types the hepatocytes, which account for three-quarters of the liver's volume, perform its main functions. To discover the molecular basis of hepatocyte function, we employed Massively Parallel Signature Sequencing (MPSS) to determine the transcriptomic profile of adult human hepatocytes obtained by laser capture microdissection (LCM).


10,279 UniGene clusters, representing 7,475 known genes, were detected in human hepatocytes. In addition, 1,819 unique MPSS signatures matching the antisense strand of 1,605 non-redundant UniGene clusters (such as APOC1, APOC2, APOB and APOH) were highly expressed in hepatocytes.


Apart from a large number of protein-coding genes, some of the antisense transcripts expressed in hepatocytes could play important roles in transcriptional interference via a cis-/trans-regulation mechanism. Our result provided a comprehensively transcriptomic atlas of human hepatocytes using MPSS technique, which could be served as an available resource for an in-depth understanding of human liver biology and diseases.